St Helens 34 Wakefield Trinity 6 - captain Jacob Miller inured as Trinity suffer another defeat
Another second half collapse left Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester “frustrated”.
After a scoreless opening period, Trinity were beaten 34-6 at St Helens yesterday - and to add injury to insult, captain Jacob Miller hobbled off with knee damage after 19 minutes.
Already battling a lengthy casualty list, Trinity matched Saints throughout the first 40 minutes, but conceded immediately after the break and never looked like getting back in the game after that.
It was a similar story in their previous Betfred Super League game when Trinity lost 34-6 to Wigan Warriors, after it had been 6-6 at half-time.
Chester said: “The effort’s not in question, but what we questioned in the dressing room is what’s going on between the ears.”
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He reflected: “We put in a big performance in that first half, then we came up with some really poor lapses in concentration.
“It is so frustrating. I know the guys are hurting, but we’ve got to be smarter with the personnel we’ve got.
“We can’t give seven yardage penalties away like we did in that second half. There were too many pressure releases, again.”
Wakefield were a blade of grass away from opening the scoring in the opening period when James Batchelor plucked Miller’s kick out of the air, but couldn’t quite force his way over the line.
Saints were playing with 12 men at that stage after James Bentley had been sin-binned for dissent.
Saints got over the line twice before the break without managing to score.
Joel Thompson was held up by Trinity’s scrambling defence inside the opening 10 minutes and then, seven minutes before half-time, Tommy Makinson dived over the whitewash, but he had put a foot in touch.
Having kept Saints at bay throughout the first 40, Trinity conceded three times in the opening 12 minutes of the second.
Kevin Naiqama forced his way past three defenders just 90 seconds after the break and on 46 minutes Jack Welsby offloaded to Theo Fages, he cut into space and Bentley was in support to storm over.
Wakefield held up Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Kyle Amor over the line, but on 52 minutes Jonny Lomax kicked through and Welsby dived on the ball to score.
Makinson converted both and Trinity were suddenly 18 points adrift and reduced to damage limitation.
Saints added a fourth try with 18 minutes left, in similar fashion to their third, Regan Grace diving on Welsby’s kick.
Makinson again converted off the touchline and Trinity conceded back-to-back tries to Naiqama and Grace, Lewis Dodd improving the second, before Wakefield avoided a whitewash with five minutes left when Jay Pitts went over from first-receiver and Mason Lino added the extras.
Of Miller’s injury, Chester said: “It doesn’t look great.
“We are hopeful it’s just a medial ligament, which would be probably four to six weeks.”
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Welsby, Grace, Lomas, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Paasi, Thompson, Bentley, Joe Batchelor. Subs McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Dodd, Wingfield.
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Senior, Lyne, Arundel, Kershaw, Miller, Lino, Fifita, Crowther, Arona, James Batchelor, Pitts, Westerman. Subs K Wood, Green, Battye, B Walker.
Referee: James Child (Dewsbury).