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Page last updated at 21:42 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 22:42 UK

St Helens 20-22 Wakefield

St Helens (12) 20
Tries: Gardner, Pryce, Dean 2, Meli
Wakefield (12) 22
Tries: Atkins, Obst, Grix 2 Goals: Brough 3


Steve Snitch tries to stop James Graham
Steve Snitch tries to stop James Graham in his tracks

The normally dependable Paul Wellens missed a last-minute penalty as Wakefield held on for their first Super League victory at St Helens since 2003.

Irish international Scott Grix crossed twice in the second half for John Kear's side, who made amends for last week's heartbreaking loss to Leeds.

Although Saints outscored the Wildcats by five tries to four, Wellens failed to convert any of his side's efforts.

He then missed the penalty which would have earned the league leaders a draw.

Saints went ahead after four minutes when Ade Gardner went over in the right corner, but Wellens, taking the kicks in the absence of both Sean Long and Kyle Eastmond, missed the touchline conversion.

Wakefield hit back strongly, with Ryan Atkins taking advantage of an error by Wellens to race through from 60 metres for his 10th try of the season.

Brough added the easiest of conversions and Wakefield started to show their strength, despite the loss off hooker Tevita Leo Latu with a wrist injury.

Saints regained the lead against the run of play in the 23rd minute when Leon Pryce collected a short offload from Wellens and burst through a gap to touch down.

606: DEBATE
saint09

Four minutes later, the home side extended their advantage when Wellens sent Chris Dean over the line, although the full-back was unable to add the extras on either occasion.

Wellens was then at fault in the 31st minute when he allowed Sam Obst to weave his way past him and cross the line for a fine individual try, which Brough again converted.

Wakefield drew first blood seven minutes after the break when Obst and Brough combined in a move which culminated in Grix plunging his way over in the right corner, although the try was only given after a lengthy review from video referee Steve Ganson.

Brough was unable to add the extras from a difficult angle and Saints hit back in the 56th minute when Keiron Cunningham's swift short offload sent the onrushing Francis Meli over from close range.

Yet again Wellens missed the goal and Grix claimed his second moments later - again after review from Ganson - when he squeezed through a gap. Brough added his third conversion.

Dean claimed his second try in the 70th minute when he went over in the left corner, but Wellens failed again with the kick.

With the seconds ticking down, both sides committed a host of errors before Pryce won a penalty for his side in the final minute.

It was a straightforward kick, but Wellens put it wide to gift Wakefield the win.


St Helens coach Mick Potter (on Paul Wellens's late miss):

"He was allocated the job of kicker and he wanted to persevere with it. Our goalkicking can definitely improve and I thought overall we were a little bit off the pace.

"Their kicking game was better than ours and they handled the conditions better than us. They deserved their win."

Wakefield coach John Kear:

"I am very proud of the players and they should feel proud of themselves.

"It was a big win for us and if you look at the last two games then it would have been criminal if we had not got something out of it.

"I am delighted for the players and the effort was monumental against Leeds last week and again tonight."


St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Dean, Meli, Wilkin, Pryce, Graham, Roby, Puletua, Ashurst, Dixon, Gilmour.
Replacements: Cunningham, Hargreaves, Clough, Lomax.

Wakefield: Blaymire, Grix, Gleeson, Atkins, Peterson, Obst, Brough, Bibey, Leo-Latu, Korkidas, Snitch, Wilkes, Demetriou.
Replacements: Stosic, Henderson, Ferguson, Moore.

Referee: T Alibert (Toulouse)



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see also
Warrington 26-40 St Helens
11 Jul 09 |  Rugby League
Wakefield 30-32 Leeds
10 Jul 09 |  Rugby League
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League


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