Justin Holbrook’s side came from 14-6 down with 18 minutes to play to beat fourth placed Wakefield Trinity by two points, thanks to a duo of late tries from Theo Fages and Jonny Lomax. Saints knew that the fixture was a must-win, and the side showed a resilience which they have been lacking all year.
After an early try from Wakefield winger Bill Tupou, and a penalty kick from Liam Finn, Saints drew level when forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook touched down. Chris Chester’s Trinity then pulled ahead with a second try from Tupou and a hat-trick of kicks from Finn, but Fages gave Saints a glimmer of hope when the young full back was set free by prop Alex Walmsley.
Mark Percival followed up with a second conversion, before kicking for Lomax to go over for St Helen’s final try of the night. The decision went to the video referee, who awarded the four points. Percival then scored the decisive two points with the subsequent conversion.
Walmsley missed the late surge by his team as he left the field following Fages’ try, to watch the birth of his son. Fortunately, Saints did not appear to miss his presence. Holbrook will be delighted with the resolve and vigour his side showed as they appeared to be heading for a costly defeat, after playing catch up for 76 minutes.
They now are level with Wigan Warriors, who will play their game in hand against Hull FC. A victory for the Cherry and Whites would see them rise to fourth place, pulling two points ahead of St Helens and one ahead of Wakefield. However, it remains very tight with two games to play in the Super 8s, with the three aforementioned teams desperate to grasp the crucial final qualifying spot.
Next up for St Helens is Huddersfield Giants on Friday 15th September, and Wakefield face a tough trip to the KCOM stadium a day earlier.
Man of the match: Jonny Lomax
It was hard to spot a star man amongst a determined and zealous Saints side, but Lomax proved to be the saviour with his dramatic late try. Mark Percival deserves high praise for his superb kicking, but Lomax was heroic with his diving touch down.