St Helens cruise to victory over Wakefield

Saints coach Keiron Cunningham with skipper Jon Wilkin, one of the try scorers in last night's defeat of Wakefield
Saints coach Keiron Cunningham with skipper Jon Wilkin, one of the try scorers in last night's defeat of Wakefield
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St Helens inflicted a heavy 44-4 defeat on Wakefield in Wildcats' first game since Brian Smith quit as head coach.

Two Joe Greenwood tries and one apiece from Jon Wilkin, James Roby, Tommy Makinson gave Saints a 30-0 half-time lead at Langtree Park.

Ben Jones-Bishop got on the scoresheet for the visitors, who saw Australian Smith resign on Tuesday.

But Roby, Makinson and Matty Dawson all went over for the hosts as they got their fourth win of the season.

However, there was concern in the first half for Saints as winger Adam Swift was taken off on a stretcher with a possible ankle injury.

Saints move level on points with third-placed Warrington with the victory, ahead of the Wolves' trip to Catalans on Saturday.

Wakefield, on the other hand, have won just once in their six outings this campaign, with chairman Michael Carter admitting he had a "frosty" relationship with Smith before the latter's departure.

Smith's assistant Stuart Dickens took charge of the Wildcats but could not see them move away from 10th place in the table.

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham: "It's tough playing against teams who have suffered adversity 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."

Wakefield caretaker coach Stuart Dickens: "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."

St Helens: McDonnell; Makinson, Peyroux, Dawson, Swift; Turner, Walsh; Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Vea, Greenwood, Wilkin.

Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Tasi, Richards, Thompson.

Wakefield: Jones-Bishop; Lyne, Walton, Hall, Johnstone; Miller, Finn; Scruton, Howarth, England, A. Tupou, Ashurst, Arona.

Replacements: Simon, Sio, Anderson, Walker.

Referee: Gareth Hewer