Richardson shines as Saints are too strong for struggling Wakefield

Saints' Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (2nd right) celebrates his try against Wakefield Trinity,
Saints' Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (2nd right) celebrates his try against Wakefield Trinity,

Danny Richardson scored 14 points as St Helens ended a tumultuous week with a routine 26-6 win over struggling Wakefield Trinity at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

In the past seven days, Saints have booked their place in the Challenge Cup Final as well as confirming the departure of coach Justin Holbrook to the Gold Coast Titans.

And despite missing several first-choice players, the home side were far too good for an injury-ravaged Trinity who have now won just one of their last 11 games in all competitions.

The league leaders' shield now looks certain to be Saints', with mathematics all that stands in their way given they are 12 points clear of second-placed Warrington who have six games left.

Richardson weighed in with a try and five goals as well as providing an assist for the Super League leaders who led 20-2 by the break.

Three tries in a sensational nine-minute spell at the end of the first half turned the game decisively in Saints' favour after the visitors made an encouraging start, restricting the hosts to a sixth-minute Richardson penalty.

A penalty from Wakefield scrum-half Danny Brough's restored parity five minutes later but the game exploded into life when Richardson sold a dummy before weaving his way to the tryline from 20 metres out.

Richardson was involved again moments later, prodding through a kick to the Wakefield in-goal which was pounced on by Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook.

The onslaught continued with Saints adding a third try just before half-time. The impressive prop Luke Thompson was held up over the Wakefield tryline but it proved a temporary reprieve; the ball was moved along the line and Jack Welsby's pass got Tommy Makinson in at the corner.

With Richardson converting all three tries, Saints were 18 points ahead at the break and seemingly well on course for their third win over Wakefield this season.

Chris Chester's team made a spirited start to the second half with the likes of Ryan Hampshire and Brough toiling in vain against a Saints team seemingly happy to see out a game which became increasingly scrappy as Wakefield became more desperate in their bid to register their first try.

With 10 minutes remaining, Saints finally claimed the first points of the half when centre Kevin Naiqama hit a short pass from Welsby at speed and proved unstoppable from 10 metres out. Richardson added his fifth goal.

Wakefield did get over for a try with two minutes remaining as Kelepi Tanginoa forced his way over from close range, though Brough was unable to add the conversion.