Lomax grabs another hat-trick as Saints get Langtree Park monkey off their backs (From St Helens Star)
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Lomax grabs another hat-trick as Saints get Langtree Park monkey off their backs
Saints 52 Wakefield 18.
JONNY Lomax grabbed his second hat-trick in four weeks as Saints thumped a half century of points past Wakefield to claim their first home win of the season.
Once again it was the reborn full back who wrote the headlines showing skill, pace, flair, an eye for the gap and strength to nail his three touchdowns and have a hand in several others for his colleagues.
And to put the icing on the cake, the 23-year-old Billinger chipped over eight goals from nine attempts to solve another early season problem.
The only dampener was a 39th minute ankle injury sustained by James Roby. He will need a scan to assess the damage.
It was another fine attacking display from the men in the red vee, who are slowly but surely finding their groove again with the ball, and the 11,211 crowd lapped it up.
Although the scoreline suggests a pretty comfortable night, there were spells when Saints really had to knuckle down defensively and at one stage of the second half had to repel five consecutive sets on their own line.
Although they did eventually concede a score, to reduce their lead to 10 ponts, Saints very swiftly responded with a two-try inn four minutes salvo from Lomax opening the floodgates.
Saints had got off to a jittery start when full back Richie Mathers cashed in on a missed tackle from Jordan Turner to go over after less than three minutes.
Saints hit back with some real quality, with some fine play up the left by Lomax stretching the Wakefield defence.
Keeping the ball alive, there was some real hot-potato handling before Jon Wilkin sent giant Alex Walmsley crashing under the posts for his first Super League try.
Lomax goaled and then raised the roof with a dummy, change of pace and dash to the line, adding the extras himself.
A succession of Wakefield penalties took their toll with Ben Cockayne touching down Kyle Wood’s reverse grubber. Paul Sykes kicked his second goal to level it, but Saints finished the second half with a flourish.
Wilkin’s grubber was missed by the Wakefield defence allowing Turner to zip in for his first on the half hour mark.
And then four minutes before the break Turner crossed after taking a magnificent offload from Francis Meli, who terrorised the left flank.
That gave Saints a 22-12 lead with the only cloud being the sight of Roby limping down the tunnel on the hooter.
The England hooker did not return in the second half, but Saints coped and were first on the scoresheet when Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook took Wilkin’s pass to power over.
But any hopes that Saints could ease up were soon dispelled with Trinity forcing five consecutive sets of six which was only finally ended when tackle pressure forced a knock-on.
Infuriatingly, Saints then committed the cardinal sin of allowing themselves to be opened up from 40 metres, with Collis crossing.
But Lomax soon got the Saints score ticking over again.
There was nothing on, but a shimmy, dummy and dash saw Lomax grab his second.
Then four minutes later Willie Manu offloaded in heavy traffic to give the young full back another crack, using good strength to force his way over.
And, for a bit of variation, Lomax then attacked the right hand side, unleashing Sia Soliola who in turn sent the recalled Tommy Makinson in at the corner.
And Lance Hohaia poached a trademark close-range effort to break the half century barrier, with Lomax chipping another goal to take his night’s haul to 28 points.
Saints: Lomax; Makinson, Turner, Jones, Meli; Hohaia, Wilkin; Laffranchi, Roby, Walmsley, Manu, Soliola, Walker; Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flanagan, Clough, Hand.
Wakefield: Mathers; Fox, Collis, Lyne, Cockayne; Sykes, Wood; Wilkes, Aiton, Amor, Mellars, Mariano, Washbrook. Subs: Smith, Trout, Wildie, Annakin.
Ref: Robert Hicks