Lewis Murphy leads with four tries for Wakefield as they become the first team to beat St Helens at home in the Betfred Super League in 2022; Despite losing, results elsewhere mean Saints are confirmed as top of the table
Last updated: 08/29/22 8:29pm
St Helens won Betfred Super League Leaders’ Shield for the first time in three years despite suffering their first home defeat of the season when they fell 34-18 to Wakefield Trinity.
Winger Lewis Murphy scored four times as Wakefield got his first win at St Helens in five years, with Trinity overwhelming an inexperienced Saints team consisting of four debutants.
However, the reigning Super League champions remained at the top of the table after closest rivals Wigan Warriors were also beaten at Hull Kingston Rovers.
Story of the game
Young centre-back Ben Davies scored two of St Helens’ attempts with Jon Bennison also touching down, while winger Tommy Makinson made three conversions from multiple attempts.
Wakefield, who was not long considered a relegation candidate, is ending the season on a strong note with five wins in the last six. They dominated the first half and took a 24-6 lead thanks to Murphy’s hat-trick as well as efforts from Max Jowitt and Corey Hall. Jowitt and Lee Gaskell also added conversions.
Only nine minutes were played as Wakefield opened the scoring as Harry Bowes and Bradley Walker combined to put Hall through the test.
Head coach Kristian Woolf has handed the debuts to Keane Gilford, Ben Lane, Ellis Archer and Rio Corkill just days after St Helens were beaten 30-10 to Wigan Warriors. The hosts are without a number of key players due to injury, while Curtis Sironen and Morgan Knowles are absent due to suspensions.
Sadiq Adebiyi returned from injury in his first game at Wakefield since Easter but there was no room for Josh Bowden, David Fifita or Lee Kershaw, with hooker Liam Hood still suspended.
The Saints took the lead within five minutes as an effective move at the scrum saw Ben Davies pass after receiving the final pass from Daniel Moss. Tommy Makinson’s conversion put the home team ahead 6-4.
Murphy’s first try came in the 19th minute when he performed a brilliant acrobatic stunt in a tight corner after receiving a pass from Jowitt.
There was no conversion from Jowitt but Wakefield returned just minutes later via the popular Murphy. Miller took a hammer-kick from the Saints’ sideline and the ball randomly went to Murphy, whose task was simply to touch the ball.
Murphy completed his lightning-fast hat-trick in half an hour, once again creating a spectacular finish in the corner after Miller had linked well with Jowitt to extend Wakefield’s advantage.
St Helens: Tries – Ben Davies (2), Jon Bennison; Goal – Tommy Makinson (3).
Wakefield Trinity: Tries – Lewis Murphy (4), Corey Hall, Lee Gaskell, Max Jowitt; Goal – Lee Gaskell (2), Max Jowitt.
With eight minutes of the first half remaining, Wakefield scored their fifth try. A great breakthrough from inside his half by Kyle Evans was well assisted by Jowitt and he raced clearly to complete a good move. This time, Lee Gaskell took the starting role and completed his goal of taking a 24-6 lead.
The Saints had a bright start to the second half as they had plenty of possession in the Wakefield half but their ability to turn pressure into points was punished.
Murphy broke through on the left and – although it looked like he could have scored a fourth – he unselfishly passed the ball in to the assist Gaskell, who touched down to try he also converted.
Davies confirmed his and Saints’ second effort in the 55th minute when he received a pass from Moss and saved two tackles to score from close range before Makinson added an extra.
With the news of Wigan’s defeat reaching the Saints fans, there was a celebratory mood inside the stadium despite the opening goal and they had more to cheer for eight minutes on. since the end.
Corkill broke through the middle and he moved the ball inside to assist Bennison, who ran down the post to test Makinson’s conversion.
As the game entered the final stages, Murphy went on for a fourth time, going into the corner from close range, but as time ran out, former Saints player Gaskell was guilty of obstruction.
What did they say
St Helens . head coach Kristian Woolf
It’s an outstanding achievement by this group of men [to win the League Leaders’ Shield]. I think with the amount of disruption we’ve had to deal with – and what your pay cap is at – we guarantee they’ll be competitive every week.
“The credit must go to the young players who have followed in the footsteps of the more senior players.”
Wakefield Trinity Head Coach, Willie Poching
“Lewis [Murphy] create some special endings – some of those trials need some real skill to complete. I think he can get as far as he wants in this game if he invests time in learning his skills.
“We will take [the win]. It wasn’t the prettiest or flashiest performance. I think the young people from Saints fought hard and bravely. Sometimes it’s difficult because we train to play against certain stereotypes. “
St Helens ends the regular season at home against relegated Toulouse Olympique on Saturday, September 3 (3pm) and will be awarded the League Leaders’ Shield on the same day. Wakefield Trinity will meet the Huddersfield Giants chasing third place the previous day (7.45pm).