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Friday 15th August 2014, 20:00 - Round:24
|Tom Makinson 2, Josh Jones 2, Shannon McDonnell 2, Sia Soliola,||T||Danny Washbrook, Richard Owen, Lee Gilmour,|
Mark Percival 6,
Jarrod Sammut 2,
Attendance: 11,000 Official: P Bentham Venue: Langtree Park
St Helens powered away from Wakefield Trininty Wildcats in the second half to stay top of First Utility Super League.
Saints' much-changed team dominated the opening 40 minutes only to have just a six-point cushion to show for it at the break at 12-6 in front, but they found their killer instinct after the interval and ran out winners by seven tries to three.
Tom Makinson, Josh Jones and Shannon McDonnell scored two tries each, while Mark Percival kicked six goals.
Nathan Brown shuffled his team again in the absence of his long-term casualties, with Paul Wellens moved up to scrum-half and replaced by debutant McDonnell at full-back.
Fielding four props from the start, with Jordan Turner providing some variety to the Saints attack, the home side opted for power.
Saints took an early lead when McDonnell's chip on the last tackle forced an error and from the subsequent free play Percival dabbed through for Makinson to touch down.
There was the worrying sight of England hooker James Roby leaving the field on 15 minutes, but he was able to return with his leg strapped at the start of the second half.
Saints enjoyed the lion's share of the ball, forcing a number of repeat sets with smart kicking from Turner, Gary Wheeler and Wellens.
However, it was not until the 27th minute that they managed to breach the visitors' line again, with quick hands from Wellens sending centre Jones cantering home.
Wakefield countered with a late flourish just before the break and were rewarded with a close-range score from Danny Washbrook, with Jarrod Sammut's goal cutting the deficit to six points.
Saints were quick out of the blocks in the second half and a super break from Percival, followed by a clever kick down the touchline, yielded a debut try for McDonnell.
Percival added the magnificent conversion, but the Wildcats hit back shortly afterwards.
Scrum-half Tim Smith was afforded all the time in the world to pick his spot on the right to loft the ball for Richard Owen to attack, out-jumping Matty Dawson to touch down.
However, Saints' big men were determined to stamp their authority on the game and one of those - Sia Soliola - forced his way through from close range.
And then a great break from Roby, backed up by Turner, ended up with McDonnell chasing up in support from full-back to bag his second of the night.
Jones added his second and, although Lee Gilmour grabbed a late consolation against his old club, Saints had the last word with Makinson completing his brace.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals