Matt Percival scored two tries, with James Roby and Josh Simm also crossing for St Helens are they proved too strong for Wakefield Trinity; the defending champions have three wins from three for the start of the 2022 Super League season; Tom Johnstone crossed for Trinity
Last Updated: 25/02/22 10:48pm
Reigning Super League champions St Helens continued their perfect start to the 2022 season with a hard-earned 20-4 win over Wakefield Trinity at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Centre Mark Percival scored two tries as Kristian Woolf’s men enjoyed their third win from as many games.
In contrast, Wakefield are still looking for their first victory of the new campaign.
Saints boss Woolf was able to name the same squad for a third successive game while Wakefield were without Liam Hood, Lee Gaskell and Mason Lino. Their problems were exacerbated when winger Tom Lineham limped off in the 13th minute.
Trinity made a lively start with Harry Bowes, Tom Johnstone and Jacob Miller all making promising breaks. But once Saints got their first points, they found their rhythm and started to dominate play.
Percival scored his first in the 15th minute after Jack Welsby and Jonny Lomax combined to spin the ball out to the left edge. A determined Percival would not be stopped from close range as he went in at the corner though Tommy Makinson could not add the conversion.
Saints continued to target Wakefield’s right side which had been forced into a reshuffle following Lineham’s injury which saw him replaced by Liam Kay.
Makinson, who is chasing his 150th try for Saints, had a score disallowed for obstruction in the 26th minute but Saints did go over moments later.
The scrambling Wakefield defence had managed to keep out Makinson initially before James Roby spied a gap and went blind side from dummy-half to score in the corner. Makinson added the goal to make it 10-0.
Percival claimed his second try nine minutes before half-time when he supported another powerful break by Makinson, who kicked a second goal to make it 16-0.
Wakefield, who had struggled to build pressure in the Saints half after a bright start, grabbed an unlikely lifeline when a beautifully weighted kick to the corner by scrum-half Brad Walker was grounded by Johnstone for a try, though Max Jowitt’s conversion attempt hit the right upright and bounced away.
There was plenty of invention from Trinity at the start of the second half as they looked to test the Saints defence but they could not create a clear try-scoring opportunity.
Having seen off Wakefield’s best efforts, Saints scored their fourth try of the game – which proved to be the only scoring action of the second half – with 17 minutes remaining.
Some slick approach play along the line ended with winger Josh Simm – who got two tries in last week’s win at Hull FC – scoring in the corner though Makinson was unable to add the extras from the touchline.
Both teams ended the game with 12 men after Wakefield prop David Fifita was sent to the sin-bin by referee Aaron Moore for obstruction with only three minutes left on the clock, soon to be followed by Saints’ Curtis Sironen for a swinging arm.