Reaction to St Helens' win over Wakefield in Challenge Cup

Jonny Lomax looks to evade Danny Brough. Picture: SWPix
Jonny Lomax looks to evade Danny Brough. Picture: SWPix
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Wakefield coach Chris Chester admits St Helens are in a league of their own after watching them stroll to a 48-10 victory over his team in the quarter-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup.


Saints had eight different tryscorers, including Lachlan Coote who also kicked eight goals for a personal haul of 20 points, as they secured a place in the last four for the second successive year.

"It was one of those days," Chester said. "The best team won which I can cop as a coach.

"Saints are flying at the moment and I don't think even with our best side we would have beaten them.

"They're the best team in this competition by a long, long way and they are certainly going to take some stopping."

It was largely one-way traffic from the start with Coote touching down after only two minutes as Justin Holbrook's men went on to establish an unassailable 26-6 lead by half-time.

Trinity briefly levelled when 19-year-old debutant centre Jack Croft brushed aside Fiji international Kevin Naiqama to score an early try and they were still in touch at 18-6 when full-back Ryan Hampshire was sin-binned in the 66th minute for dissent.

"I think the big turning point was going down to 12 men," Chester said. "For nine or 10 minutes we didn't touch the ball and against Saints you need your full complement of players.

"We chanced our arm probably a little too much, but not many teams will stop them when they're attacking like that.

"We knew we were always facing an uphill battle but, having said that, I thought we did okay on the whole, considering the players we had sidelined.

"We're disappointed but there are quite a few positives to take out of it. We've unearthed a new kid in Jack Croft who didn't look out of place. He's a real good talent and I'm delighted for him."

Already without in-form prop David Fifita, Wakefield lost second rower Danny Kirmond with concussion after only 17 minutes and also picked up injuries to Matty Ashurst (back) and Tyler Randell (ankle).

Six points clear at the top of Super League, Saints now face a trip to Bolton on July 27 with an opportunity to make amends for their shock semi-final defeat by Catalans Dragons there last season and Holbrook believes they are in a good position to go one step further.

"To get to the semis is fantastic," he said. "It's an opportunity to play better at Bolton and that's our aim. It's a long way off still but in every big game so far this year we've played really well.

"I thought we played really well last week and it was important to back it up. We didn't start the second half too well and we had to work hard to get back control.

"We're defending really well, we had some tough periods where we hung in there."

Wakefield briefly threatened a fightback when Randell scored their second try but Saints second rower Zeb Taia took charge of the final quarter, scoring one try and creating others for Mark Percival and Jonny Lomax.

"The last two weeks Zeb's been phenomenal and today I thought he was our best player," Holbrook said.