SAINTS produced their get out of jail card two minutes from time to keep the show on the road.

After being out-manoeuvred and out-foxed by a smart Trinity side that they must pass in order to reach the semis, Saints trailed 16-12 with just two minutes remaining.

Starting their last tackle on the half way line, in shades of Wide to West, Saints put the ball through 11 pairs of hands in an effort to keep the set, game and season alive.

And in one final throw of the dice centre Mark Percival poked the ball through, Regan Grace gave chase, applying enough pressure on Scott Grix to force an error upon which makeshift centre Jonny Lomax pounced.

Percival’s conversion gave Saints the lead for the first time in the match and they held on to secure the points.

It had been a tough night for a jittery Saints side against a Trinity team who seemed to know exactly how to defend the lead accrued from two Bill Tupou tries and a brace of Liam Finn penalties.

Even when Wakefield were down to 12 men, after the sin-binning of Dean Hadley for a crusher tackle on Percival, they knew how to run the clock down by putting the ball out of play.

Trinity’s kickers – Finn and Jacob Miller – caused consternation in the Saints defence all night, and the high ball at the dimly lit Belle Vue was a problem.

It was two kicks that led to Trinity’s and Tupou’s first on 11 minutes, with Grix chipping the second one over for the big wing to race on to.

But Saints soon hit back in a move set up by recalled scrum half Danny Richardson, in at seven in place of Matty Smith.

And it was Richardson’s exquisite pass, after setting up the position with a 40/20, that sent Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook over for Saints’ first try.

But a length of the field effort from Tupou, with Barba showing a lack of fitness with his half-hearted chase, restored the Trinity lead.

After Luke Thompson was penalised although Saints had seen more of the ball in the first half, they went in at the break counting their blessings that the deficit was only six points.

After comfortably getting past their period with 12, helped by a shrewd kicking game and some Saints handling errors, Trinity extended the lead to eight points through a Finn penalty.

Wakefield’s half backs kept Saints pinned back and play was all in one half.

Saints needed something and Alex Walmsley’s gallop and offload sent Fages looping round to dash over.

Percival tagged on the goal but another Finn penalty made it 16-12.

And with five minutes to play Wakefield were awarded another penalty to the left of the posts.

But the Gods were smiling down on Saints with Finn’s effort striking an upright and bouncing out.

Saints only got as far and half way with their first five tackles, but made it count with the last one.

Overall it was a pretty anxious performance at times from Saints but they had a genuine gamestar in Richardson.

The young scrum half produced a swaggering display, and offered variety with his probing, passing and kicking game.

And twice he was given the ball under pressure on the last when there seemed nothing on but a turnover but still produced something special.

He was joined by Alex Walmsley and James Roby, in having stand-out games for Saints.

It was a strange night for Walmsley, who put in two fantastic stints before leaving the ground early to join his partner Simone who had gone into labour.

It was a good job those individuals stood tall because a couple of their normally more consistent performers had off days with their ball control which kept them behind the eight ball for large parts of the second half.

And Barba is clearly still not match fit and coming to terms with the game, after 10 months off, against teams and players that are battle hardened.

Credit to Saints though, they managed to hang in there and snatch something just when it looked over.

And that has kept Mission Impossible on the agenda for 2017, but they will have to play much better than this going forward to progress any further.

Wakefield: Grix; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Tupou; Miller, Finn; England, Randell, Hirst, Kirmond, Ashurst, Arona. Subs: Huby, Fifita, Annakin, Hadley.

Saints: Barba; Makinson, Lomax, Percival, Grace; Fages, Richardson; Douglas, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Knowles, Wilkin. Subs: Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Peyroux, Lees.