Super League: St Helens 32-12 Wakefield Wildcats
Last updated on .From the section Rugby League
|St Helens (12) 32|
|Tries: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Owens, McDonnell 3, Fages Goals: Walsh 4|
|Wakefield (6) 12|
|Tries: Hall, Johnstone Goals: Finn 2|
Shannon McDonnell's hat-trick helped St Helens round off the regular Super League season with a routine home win over Wakefield at Langtree Park.
Saints finished fourth and Warrington's victory at Hull means they will face the League Leaders' Shield winners away from home in their play-off semi-final.
Tries from Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Jack Owens put Saints 12-6 up at the break, with Craig Hall responding.
McDonnell's treble after the break helped to seal the win.
Theo Fages added the hosts' sixth try to complete the victory, while Wakefield - who suffered a ninth successive defeat and finished bottom of the table at the end of the Super 8s - managed only a Tom Johnstone score in reply after the break.
Victory extends St Helens' winning run to four matches leading up to the play-offs, with their only defeat in their past 12 games coming at Warrington in August.
They now travel to face the Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday, 29 September, looking to return to the Super League Grand Final for the eighth time in 11 seasons.
St Helens assistant coach Sean Long: "Shannon had a great game and went really well against Widnes last week. He's given us a headache for next week.
"Full credit to Wakefield who had a real dig at us. We were a little bit off and it wasn't a great spectacle, but we would have taken 32-12 before the game.
"The main thing is we came through unscathed for next week."
Wakefield head coach Chris Chester: "We played some really good football at times. We wanted to throw the ball around and enjoy ourselves and there was a lot of spirit and pride.
"We probably tried too hard in the second half but the final scoreline didn't reflect our effort.
"We have got into the top eight through hard work and we now have to continue with our progression."
St Helens: Lomax; McDonnell, Percival, Peyroux, Owens; Turner, Walsh; Vea, Knowles, Amor, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Greenwood, Thompson.
Replacements: Walmsley, Wilkin, Fages, Davies.
Wakefield: Jowitt; Johnstone, Lyne, Arundel, B Tupou; Hall, Finn; Simon, Sio, Fifita, Molloy, Ashurst, Harrison.
Replacements: A Tupou, Arona, Crowther, Yates.
Referee: Joe Cobb