Saints 46 Wakefield 6

Saints Thomas Makinson
Saints Thomas Makinson

St Helens moved to within a point of third-placed Huddersfield but coach Royce Simmons took little satisfaction from his side’s 46-6 win at struggling Wakefield.

The veteran Australian described the Engage Super League match as “one of the worst” he had ever witnessed and bemoaned his side’s continuing misfortune with injuries.

Winger Jamie Foster scored 22 points and Kyle Eastmond made the most of his switch to full-back to grab two of his side’s eight tries as Saints piled on the agony for the Wildcats, who have conceded 208 points in their last four matches.

“That was very close to the worst game of rugby league I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Simmons.

“It was a very scrappy game, with a lot of dropped ball, not a lot of it under any pressure. It was very ordinary. I don’t think you’ll see that used for advertising.”

Saints went into the game without full-back Paul Wellens, who has a nagging Achilles problem, and lost three players during the match, including forward Paul Clough, who was making his comeback after being out for three months with a shoulder injury.

“Wello had a scan last week which showed no major damage but his Achilles is still a bit swollen and, when he tried to push off, he couldn’t,” said Simmons. “We’ll probably send him for an MRI scan.

“Clough has come back after 13 weeks out and done an ankle, which we think is pretty serious.

“Jon Wilkin twisted his ankle too and Francis Meli has a bit of an Achilles problem. I would say they are all very doubtful for next week.”

Wakefield coach John Kear admitted his side were “in a hole” after their 70-14 mauling at Hull KR a week earlier and must now be wondering where their next win will come from, although he refused to criticise his players’ efforts.

“At half-time I asked the players for a summary of their first-half performance and they felt embarrassed,” he said.

“They did show some resilience and fight in the second half. We might have witnessed a bit of healing to go into next week. We said it was about getting ready for Wigan.

“People don’t always realise but a lot of them are playing busted. It’s easy to criticise and be negative but it’s about time the players received a bit of support.”

Centre Aaron Murphy grabbed a late consolation try after Wakefield trailed 46-0 but their problems worsened with the loss of three-quarter Luke George with an ankle injury.

“It was a shame because I thought he was one of our better players in the first half,” said Kear.