CARETAKER coach Stuart Dickens refused to use the recent turmoil at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats as an excuse for a heavy defeat on the road at impressive St Helens.
Saints strolled to a 44-4 victory, leading 30-0 at half-time as Joe Greenwood, James Roby and Tommy Makinson each notched two tries with others coming from skipper Jon Wilkin and Matty Dawson.
Luke Walsh booted six goals and the only blow for Saints - who chalked up their biggest win of the season - was a suspected broken ankle suffered by winger Adam Swift.
Wakefield could only manage a Ben Jones-Bishop consolation try and Dickens, in charge after Brian Smith’s shock decision to quit Wildcats in midweek, said: “It’s been a tough week but that’s no excuse for the way we played in the first 40 minutes.
“We couldn’t get it right from the first whistle. We could have folded in the second half but dug in and didn’t look dead on our feet.
“Everybody has total respect for Brian Smith, but obviously this seems to have had an effect on the players.”
Dickens revealed he had not applied for the Wakefield job permanently, adding: “I’ve not applied because I don’t think the time is right but I would like to stay involved with the club.”
Delighted St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham praised his side’s professional performance.
“It’s tough playing against teams who have suffered adversity,” said Cunningham.
“And it’s the second time in three weeks we have faced a side who have just lost their coach.
“This was better than Hull KR and we met fire with fire and it was a very professional performance.
“It could quite easily have been something like 30-18, trading tries, but we maintained a high standard for long periods and scrambled late on to keep our defence intact.
“We only conceded one try and Joe Greenwood did really well. He has had a few knocks from the coaching team but has come back bigger and better.
“Jon Wilkin did a lot of good stuff in the middle but it’s disappointing for Adam Swift.
“It’s not looking good and he has gone to hospital for x-rays. He and Tommy Makinson were getting into great form.”