Tonight’s game at the Beaumont Legal Stadium was critical for both sides. A win for Trinity would lift them up to third place in a congested top of the table and with third placed Hull FC and Wigan playing each other on Friday night it would ensure that they retain a top four place going into the last two games of the season.
A win for Saints would leave them outside the top four but throw them a lifeline for their own scramble for the play-offs. A loss would practically end any hopes of a top four finish.
Saints had a big 41-16 win in Wakefield back in July but Wakefield won the early season game over in St Helens by 16-12.
Saints were without the services of Matty Smith with Theo Fages back in the starting line-up after missing out in last weeks painful loss against Wigan.
There were eleven minutes on the clock when Wakefield took the lead. Tommy Makinson was wrong footed by the bounce of the ball from a gentle Liam Finn chip after a scrappy period of play and Bill Tupou picked up the bouncing ball to go over in the corner. Liam Finn failed to add the conversion.
Finn added a penalty on twenty to extend the lead to 6-0 and the home side seemed in total control.
But after threatening nothing Danny Richardson kicked a 40-20 and two plays in Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook earned a penalty. Two tries later McCarthy-Scarsbrook took a bullet pass to crash over by the uprights. Mark Percival added the extras for 6-6.
On thirty Tupou scored a sensational ninety metre solo try as he rounded Ben Barba and then outpaced the chasing Saints defence to dive over without a defender laying a hand on him. Finn was able to add the conversion for 12-6.
Three minutes into the second half and Trinity were dealt a blow as Dean Hadley was sin-binned for a ‘crusher tackle’ on Mark Percival.
After a Saints ball steal on forty-nine Finn kicked a twenty-five metre penalty to leave Saints having to score twice to take the lead.
On sixty-two Saints were back in the game when Theo Fages got the ball in an ocean of space and went through a broken Trinity line off an Alex Walmsley pass to dive over. Percival added the extras and with sixteen minutes left it was a two ball game.
A Jon Wilkin ball steal on sixty-nine allowed Finn to double the Wakefield lead to 16-12 but he missed another chance six minutes later to kick the penalty that would have put his side six points ahead as he saw his kick bounce back off the upright.
On seventy-seven, disaster for Trinity when Scott Grix failed to kick the ball dead in his on goal area and Jonny Lomax won the race to slide over on the ball to ground and send his fans into raptures. Percival kicked the conversion for 18-16 to Saints with under two minutes left on the clock.
This was a great last ditch win for Saints in a game where they had been totally dominated by the opposition. Trinity failed to take their chances, and most importantly they failed to kick the goals on offer which would have won them the game. Saints keep their outside hopes of a top four finish alive but this was a hammer blow for Wakefields hopes of finishing a sensational season in the top four. Both sides now know that they will need to win both of their remaining games.
Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Tupou (2T), Miller, Finn (4G), England, Randell, Hirst, Kirmond, Ashurst, Arone. Subs: Hadley (SB), Annakin, Huby, Fifita.
Saints: Barba, Makinson, Lomax (T), Percival (3G), Grace, Fages (T), Richardson, Douglas, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Knowles, Wilkin. Subs: Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook (T), Peyroux, Lees.
Referee: Ben Thaler.