SAINTS stretched their lead at the Super League summit in dramatic fashion with a 13-12 Golden point win over Wakefield. Here are a handful of key points.

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1. Of course it had to be Jack Welsby to win it, and break the Trinity hearts with the Golden Point drop goal after having something of a mixed game by his standards.

Welsby, and the Saints halves, was given little good ball to play with at times given the amount of mistakes made in the soggy conditions.

And it was his error, tracking back to stop a 40/20 kick from going in touch, that presented Wakefield centre Jack Croft with a gift of a try. He kept his head up though – and was alert and composed enough to be in place to poke over the winner when it mattered.

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2. The game may have been decided by a golden point, but the drop goal-a-thon started before the 80 minutes was up.

Saints had three or four opportunities to take the winner in real time with Jonny Lomax having his attempt charged down, Welsby’s not getting off the ground and Joey Lussick’s effort on the hooter getting nowhere near.

Prior to all three Saints looked all set for the drop but lost the ball with the last set-up carry.

They should be thankful that they got enough pressure on Wakefield’s Jacob Miller, who also failed at the other end.

Even when the winner came it was courtesy of an error with the pass probably delivered a bit too high for Lomax.

The defence rushed out to the unflappable Lomax, who was quick thinking enough to lay it off back for Welsby – who did the rest.

The episode showed that drop-goaling is an art form that can be the big difference in big games settled on small margins.

In some of their attempts Saints appeared caught between trying to find a gap on the left – maybe to pull the defence away from the middle - and as a result they never really got themselves set up perfectly in the pocket for the winner.

As successful drop goal manuals go, all teams should study the 2002 Sean Long Grand Final matchwinner – everything from play one, to the last tackle drive from Chris Joynt to the perfect on a plate delivery under pressure from Keiron Cunningham to Long. Bingo!

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3. Relegation concentrates the mind and following Wakefield’s defeat at Toulouse the previous week they dropped to the foot of the table and are now fighting for their top-flight status and livelihoods.

And that showed with the hunger and energy they brought to the game.

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Maybe Saints dropped their guard after four consecutive high-profile games – or maybe the conditions and the less than palatial surroundings were a great leveller.

There was so much dropped ball, slipping on the hard but slippery surface, giving away penalties when in possession and that led to a jittery almost anxious display with ball in hand.

Wakefield played conditions much better and dominated field position.

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The amount of work they gave themselves to do – but to still have energy and belief to hang in there and come off the ropes to win was testament to them, even if it could have gone either way.

Saints will have plenty more games like this – teams battling the drop or to make the six in this next run of games.

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4. Young Saints wing Jon Bennison was thoroughly tested yesterday but came through with flying colours – no wonder he looked ecstatic when he celebrated the winning drop goal.

He withstood three head high tackles – none of which were punished with cards – and was perfect under the targeted high balls, he made his carries and took his try well.

He is growing in stature with each passing week – the silver lining in the cloud of Saints’ injuries.

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5. To put Saints’ absentees context - Lewis Dodd, Mark Percival, Tommy Makinson, Will Hopoate, Sione Mata’utia and Morgan Knowles all sat this one out through injury or suspension.

Saints have to some extent got used to life without most of those in those tough recent weeks – but elements of yesterday’s performance illustrate how much of the nuts-and-bolts unseen extra 1 per centers Knowles does on the field.

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6. Curtis Sironen’s stature means he has always stood out physically – but after something of an in-out start to his life at Saints due to disciplinary offences the big NRL packman is now showing what a quality addition he is.

He was Saints best player by a country mile yesterday, with his hard direct carries making inroads into the Trinity line and immense with his contact in defence.

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