Saints edge out resilient Wakefield to maintain winning run

Saints had to battle from 12 points behind to defeat a gutsy Wakefield Trinity side 16-20 at Emerald Headingley Stadium to make it eight from eight in Super League since the restart.

James Graham was absent from the game as he was forced to isolate after coming into contact with someone who has Covid-19, as Kristian Woolf explained pre-match.

And it was a slow start from the Saints after four consecutive handling errors saw Wakefield take an early and deserved lead. Joe Westerman broke forward and a kick was put through which saw Alex Walker get on the end of to touch down. Ryan Hampshire kicked the extras, giving Trinity a 6-0 lead.

Craig Kopczak scored Wakefield’s second on 19 minutes, powering over to the right of the sticks, before Hampshire added the extras to double Trinity’s lead.

Despite a dominant start by Wakefield, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook got Saints back in the game in the 31st minute with a quick dummy, before powering through two defenders and over the line. Lachlan Coote added the extras, making it 12-6 to Trinity.

Saints had momentum and Coote went over six minutes later after a great offload by young Josh Simm. Coote hit the post with his conversion, leaving Wakefield with a 12-10 lead going into half time.

Despite a dogged Wakefield defence, Regan Grace gave Saints the lead for the first time just after the hour mark. The ball was switched from right to left and Jonny Lomax’s cut-out pass found Grace who powered his way through two players to score in the corner. Coote was unable to convert, but Saints led 14-12 lead.

But Coote made no mistake moments later as he got his second in the 69th minute. Captain James Roby made a great run from dummy half which opened up the Wakefield defence and he found Jonny Lomax, who picked out the supporting Coote on his inside who went in to score. He kicked the conversion giving Saints a 20-12 lead.

Credit to Wakefield though as Matty Ashurst went over with seconds left on the clock, but it wasn’t enough, as a below-par Saints came away with a 20-16 win and remain unbeaten in Super League since the restart.

Match Summary

Wakefield 13: Alex Walker, Innes Senior, Reece Lyne, Jack Croft, Tom Johnstone, Max Jowitt, Ryan Hampshire, Craig Kopczak, Kyle Wood, Kelepi Tanginoa, Matty Ashurst, James Batchelor, Joe Westerman.

Interchanges: Connor Bailey, Eddie Battye, David Fifita, Adam Tangata.

Tries: Walker (8), Kopczak (19), Ashurst (80)

Goals: Hampshire (2)

Saints 13: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Josh Simm, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, James Bentley, Morgan Knowles, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Interchanges: Zeb Taia, Dominic Peyroux, Kyle Amor, Jack Welsby.

Tries: McCarthy-Scarsbrook (31), Coote (37, 69), Grace (62)

Goals: Coote (2)

Half time: 12-10

Full Time: 16-20

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