St Helens ran in nine tries in a 44-4 triumph as rock-bottom Wakefield slumped to their 10th straight Super League defeat last night.
The Wildcats, whose last league win was against Hull KR on February 15, trailed 20-0 before notching their first try through Tom Johnstone just before the break.
Lewis Charnock celebrated his return to senior action after a two-year absence with two tries for Saints, while Luke Walsh crossed for a brace and turned in a top show in only his second start at scrum-half after a badly broken leg. Tommy Makinson also grabbed a double, and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was a tower of strength in the dominant pack.
Grand Final winners Saints brought in Charnock at hooker for rested James Roby with Mark Percival returning to the centre in place of Josh Jones and Makinson reverting to his usual wing spot.
It was Charnock’s first taste of senior action since making two appearances in 2013.
Skipper Danny Kirmond and Ian Kirke were the latest to join Wakefield’s casualty list.
The Cats, who turned in a plucky display before losing 40-22 to Wigan last week, had won on only one of their last 13 visits to Saints.
But the hosts made a shaky start, with Mose Masoe losing the ball on the second tackle and then Travis Burns having a try-scoring pass intercepted by Chris Riley.
The visitors’ relief was short-lived, though, with Walsh waltzing past Nick Scruton and Pita Godinet on a 30-metre dart through a static defence after 12 minutes, and Burns converting.
Burns was held up over the line before Charnock burrowed his way over from dummy half for his first try for Saints to make it 12-0. Ben Kavanagh worked hard in the Wildcats’ pack but Charnock bagged his second try after 23 minutes after McCarthy-Scarsbrook bulldozed his way through Joe Arundel’s attempted tackle.
A spectacular 60-metre interception from his own line by McCarthy-Scarsbrook created the platform for Percival to send Makinson over for his ninth try of the season to make it 20-0.
Wakefield strove manfully and were rewarded with Johnstone taking Reece Lyne’s pass to cross in the corner, to the obvious delight of their small army of travelling fans and two barking dogs behind their goal.
The Wildcats made an encouraging start to the second half, with Riley having a try disallowed for putting his foot in touch after a smart cross-field kick from Tim Smith.
Saints immediately regained their composure for Jordan Turner to scythe through a yawning gap for his 11th try of the season, but Burns missed his third conversion in a row.
Then Walsh weaved his magic to float a try-scoring pass to Adam Swift, with Burns again off target. Matt Ryan felt the full brunt of Masoe’s power as the prop bulldozed over soon after, Burns this time adding the goal.
Saints then scored another spectacular long-range try when Makinson burst through two feeble tackles to feed Swift, who sent the supporting Walsh scampering over to stretch the lead to 40-4 after an hour.
Makinson added the final try two minutes from time.
St Helens: McDonnell, Makinson, Percival, Turner, Swift, Burns, Walsh, Amor, Charnock, Masoe, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wilkin, Savelio. Subs: Jones, Walmsley, Flanagan, Richards.
Wakefield: Riley, Johnstone, Arundel, Ryan, Lyne, Godinet, T. Smith, Scruton, McShane, Kavanagh, Molloy, Washbrook, Miller. Subs: Lauitiiti, Simon, D. Smith, Crowther.
Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow (RFL).