|2nd Jul 2006|| Super League||AWAY ||4927 ||(HT:22:18)|
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 26. - ** non-playing sub|
COACH : Daniel Anderson
(2005-06-26 : 2007-12-31 )
MATCH REPORT : Saints overcame a dogged Wakefield side to maintain their position at the top of Super League XI in a high-scoring encounter, with thirteen players sharing 88 points.
Four of Wakefield’s six wins in 2006 have come at their Atlantic Solutions Stadium, and a strong early showing suggested that they could claim a fifth against a Saints side that contained eight players who had played in Tuesday’s ‘XXXX’ Test.
Saints shrugged off the second-minute loss of Lee Gilmour with concussion to go into an early lead through Paul Wellens.
Wakefield, though, were spurred on by victories for Wigan and Castleford, which have injected urgency into the relegation battle.
Scrum-half Sam Obst marked his return from a four-game absence with an excellent individual try to level the scores.
Straight from the restart the Wildcats launched an attack down the left flank and dangerman David Solomona produced the offload that sent Atkins flying down the left touchline. Jamie Lyon hauled the centre down, but not before the ball had been released to Semi Tadulala to touch down.
Although Saints weren’t yet fluent in attack there was no lack of application in the searing heat.
Willie Talau’s kick-and-chase epitomised this and it was from the resulting drop-out that New Zealand teammate Vinnie Anderson was able to score his seventh try of the season.
However Wakefield’s Kiwi international Solomona was a constant thorn in Saints right side and although his offload looked suspiciously forward, Atkins raced home.
Eight points adrift Saints were under pressure, but it sparked them into life and a blistering attacking spell saw Saints rack up 30 points in just 17 minutes, although Wakefield were complicit in their own downfall.
Saints were gifted six points when Solomona spilt the ball, Lyon hacked on and Long won the footrace.
From the restart the ball went out on the full, handing possession to Saints in a threatening position. From there, Pryce bust past two tacklers to score.
The interval provided respite from the heat and a pause in the procession, but it took just four minutes for the visitors to score again, Lyon finishing off a breakaway after Vinnie Anderson had intercepted Ben Jeffries’ pass.
Jason Hooper and Maurie Fa’asavalu added further quick tries as Saints opened up a 40-18 lead that suggested a comfortable final half-hour.
However Wakefield responded with two tries in three minutes as Jeffries and Obst scored and only a forward pass prevented a third try.
That decision slowed the Wildcats’ momentum and the game was made safe when Jon Wilkin scored on 69 minutes.
Wellens’ second try brought up the half-century for the first time in Super League XI, although when Jeffries scored the game’s 15th and final try it also marked a points record: the most points conceded during Daniel Anderson’s 13-month reign.
Wakefield: Saxton, Halpenny, Demetriou, Atkins, Tadulala, Jeffries, Obst, MacGillivray, March, Griffin, J. Field, Elima, Betham.
Replacements: Korkidas, Solomona, White, Watene.
T: Obst (2), Jeffries (2), Tadulala, Atkins.
G: March (5), Jeffries.
St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Hardman, Pryce, Long, P Anderson, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Hooper.
Replacements: Roby, Fozzard, Fa'asavalu, V Anderson.
T: Wellens 2, V Anderson, Pryce, Long, Lyon, Hooper, Fa'asavalu, Wilkin.
G: Lyon (8).
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