1. AFTER an emotionally draining week - getting to Wembley and then seeing head coach Justin Holbrook announce his departure - Friday’s game against Wakefield was a potential banana skin.

It will not go down as a classic but there were enough flashes in a first half spell to ensure that Saints were never troubled.

Wakefield, battling to avoid relegation, were never simply going to roll over and let Saints show off.

The visitors monopolised the ball in the second half - and Saints seemed to defend set after set, and looked genuinely gutted to concede their first try in two matches two minutes from time.

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2. So it was dull at times, but there were some undoubted highlights.

Powerhouse Luke Thompson just kept running and running, and James Roby marked his 400th Super League game with a dummy half masterclass.

But Jack Welsby - in at full back - showed some excellent touches with the ball, scooping up and returning at pace and even having the vision and nous to kick wide to create another half chance.

He was safe fielding a range of kicks, too.

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It is pleasing to see that the 18-year-old has not let some of the errors of the London game affect him. He is certainly a player with a promising future ahead of him.

Danny Richardson, too, will be pleased with aspects of his performance - showing just what he has in his locker when he takes on the line.

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3. Saints’ win, plus Warrington’s defeat in France, means that the League Leaders Shield has been clinched for the second year running.

A remarkable 12 points clear, with only five games to go it shows how clinical and dominant Saints have been this season.

Although it has yet to be confirmed, Saints will get to parade the shield at their next home game against Castleford the week after Wembley.

Last year they were criticised for being muted in their celebrations after winning the shield.

This year - hopefully the celebrations will coincide with Saints running round with the cup as well.

But with regards to the shield, Saints can do cartwheels and jump through flaming hoops to a musical fanfare and it won’t improve the prestige of the award.

They can even double the prize money and give them a free pass to Old Trafford, but it still wouldn’t elevate it to a similar level to the Challenge Cup or Super League.

So long as the league table is seen purely as a starting grid for the road to Old Trafford then the achievement of finishing top - the hardest thing to do - will never get its full reward.

The league leaders should be champions.

4. The scenes in France in the game between Catalans and Warrington were appalling - on and off the pitch.

Hopefully a full investigation will take place and those involved in misdemeanours are punished.

Having worked so hard to attract families to games, we can do without this sort of mob, hooligan behaviour. There can never be an excuse for that.

5. Saints have an awkward game with Warrington on Thursday.

It will leave coach Justin Holbrook with a bit of a head scratcher. Does he go to put down another marker against the Wolves?

Or will there be some game playing with neither side wanting to show their hand ahead of Wembley?

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6. Saints welcomed back Zeb Taia on Friday - a player who was in good form before dislocating his shoulder.

With Holbrook stating that all those sidelined on Friday - Coote, Lomax, Walmsley, Grace and Knowles - will be back for Wembley or before.

It is going to leave him with quite a selection headache with two regulars in the 17 having to miss out for Wembley selection. It is a headache of 2006 proportions when the likes of Nick Fozzard and Vinnie Anderson missed out for the two big finals.