Match Report – Wakefield 16 – 20 St Helens

Match Report – Wakefield 16 – 20 St Helens

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Last Updated: 09/10/20 7:49pm

Lachlan Coote scored twice as St Helens came from 12-0 behind to beat Wakefield

Lachlan Coote scored twice as St Helens came from 12-0 behind to beat Wakefield

Champions St Helens made it eight straight league wins since the resumption to increase their lead at the top of Super League but the plaudits from the round 15 game went to bottom-of-the table Wakefield.

Saints trailed 12-0 against their depleted opponents and were still behind after an hour before scoring two tries in the final quarter to run out 20-16 winners at Headingley.

Full-back Lachlan Coote scored two tries and kicked two goals for St Helens, who were without veteran prop James Graham after he was told to isolate after coming into contact with someone who had contracted Covid-19.

Wakefield’s team picked itself after injury and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic left coach Chris Chester with just 17 players but he will be delighted with a spirited and courageous performance that rattled the champions.

Saints were boosted by the return of England winger Tom Makinson from a five-match ban imposed for grabbing the groin area of Castleford prop Liam Watts but he barely saw any of the action as the champions struggled to find their rhythm.

Guilty perhaps of complacency, Saints looked disinterested in the opening quarter and an energised Wakefield took full advantage of their lethargy.

A neat offload by loose forward Joe Westerman created the space for centre Reece Lyne, Trinity’s acting captain who kicked ahead for full-back Alex Walker to touch down for a ninth-minute try that Ryan Hampshire converted.

Alex Walker notched the first try of the game for Trinity

Alex Walker notched the first try of the game for Trinity

Wakefield doubled their lead midway through the first half when prop Craig Kopczak powered his way over for their second try after second rower James Batchelor had been brought down short of the line.

Hampshire’s second goal made it 12-0 and it could have been even better for Trinity after Lyne picked off a pass by Jonny Lomax to sprint 60 metres upfield only to be caught by speedster Regan Grace.

Adam Tangata and Craig Kopczak (second from right) celebrate the latter's try

Adam Tangata and Craig Kopczak (second from right) celebrate the latter’s try

The champions were awoken from their slumbers by a barnstorming try from loose forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook eight minutes before the break and four minutes later young centre Josh Simm broke clear to get Coote over for his first.

Coote converted the first try but watched his second kick bounce back off an upright to leave his side trailing by 12-10.

Coote scored to bring Saints back into the contest with his first

Coote scored to bring Saints back into the contest with his first

It stayed that way for another 22 minutes as Chester’s men scrambled to keep their line intact against their mis-firing opponents.

Coote breached their line only for his final pass to be knocked down but the breakthrough eventually came when Grace accepted Lomax’s cut-out pass to score his side’s third try.

With Coote failing to convert, Saints’ lead was a flimsy two points but they made sure of the win six minutes later when skipper James Roby split the Wakefield defence and Lomax was in support to get Coote over for his second try.

Coote’s second conversion made it 20-12 but Trinity had the final say when prop David Fifita, making his eagerly-awaited return to the team, created a last-minute try for second rower Matty Ashurst.

So Wakefield remain the only team without a win since the season resumed two months ago but Chester was able to savour arguably their best performance.



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