Two sides looking for improvements to their 2017 seasons came together at Langtree Park as Saints entertained Wakefield Trinity. Saints were still smarting after last weeks loss at Leigh Centurions, and the visitors were looking to end an eleven game losing run.
The home side lost Jonny Lomax with knee injury but had both Zeb Taia and Adam Walker making their debuts. Wakefield were without Ben Jones-Bishop who was out with facial injury, with Mason Caton-Brown debuting in his place.
Wet underfoot and overhead, the conditions were likely to be a leveller.
After taking the game to Saints over the opening exchanges it was Trinity who opened the scoring on five minutes with a Sam Williams penalty from ten metres after James Roby made a second effort in the tackle.
On twenty, and dominating the game, Wakefield scored the first try with a sensational Mason Caton-Brown one-handed effort as he defied gravity to score by the right corner flag off a long Scott Grix pass. Williams defied the driving rain and converted from the touchline for 8-0.
When Saints were penalised for hands in the ruck twenty metres from their own line, Williams made it 10-0 after twenty-seven.
Five minutes before the break and Caton-Brown held down in the tackle to give Saints a full set ten out from the Trinity line. They gave the ball some air before Ryan Morgan found himself a gap to cross after Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook had previously gone close. Mark Percival failed to add the extras for 10-4 at the interval.
Eight minutes after the restart and Saints made their early second half dominance count when, following a penalty against Wakefield for moving off the mark, Percival ran twenty metres on the angle to score by the left corner flag. Percival failed to add the extra two leaving his side still two adrift.
Saints hit the front on fifty-six when Percival took a Theo Fages pass and crashed through the Trinity defence to drop over the line. The Saints centre again failed to add the extra two leaving his side with a narrow 12-10 lead.
On seventy-three a Sam Williams grubber was almost grounded under the sticks by Jacob Miller, but he was held back by Danny Richardson as he went to touch down. Referee James Child sent the decision to the video referee who gave a penalty try. Williams added the extras to edge his side 16-12 ahead with five minutes left on the clock, enough for them to take the two points.
The two sides served up an entertaining game in awful conditions. Wakefield ended a long losing streak with the massive scalp of Saints, and exposed the amount of work that Kieron Cunningham has to do with his side to lift them from two consecutive defeats.
A workmanlike team performance got Wakefield a hard won, and well earned victory, and gives them a platform to build on in the coming weeks.
Makinson, Owens, Morgan (T), Percival (2T), Swift, Fages, Richardson, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Wilkin, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: Amor, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walker, Taia.
Grix, Johnstone, Lyne, Tupou, Caton-Brown (T), Miller (PT), Williams (4G), Arona, Wood, Huby, Ashurst, Kirmond, Sio. Subs: Finn, Walker, Fifita, Batchelor.