Mark Percival’s brace wasn’t enough as Saints went down 24-20 at Wakefield.
The centre took his season’s tally to 12, and saw yellow, in an eventful clash that halted Trinity’s losing run.
Saints had battled back from 22-6 down to be within two points early in the second half.
But they couldn’t find that killer touch to grab the spoils despite a number of chances.
It could have been all so different if Saints had made the best of their rampant start.
Mark Percival crossed in the second minute when he polished off a sweeping move following Jon Wilkin’s break.
But within a couple of sets, back to back penalties gave Wakefield the field position for Ben Jones-Bishop to cross in the corner.
Liam Finn nailing the conversion from the touchline to make it all square.
On 15 minutes that ill-discipline cost Saints again.
Zeb Taia was pinged for interference as Wakefield hacked ahead on a free play and from the resultant set, Reece Lyne ghosted through the defence.
And moments later, after a poor last tackle play, Justin Horo went over to the left of the posts to put Trinity in complete control.
Bill Tupou adding to the torment after breaking free of some lack-lustre tackling.
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) 15 April 2018
At 22-6, Saints needed to hit back quickly and they did just that when Ryan Morgan took Lomax’ pass to send Tommy Makinson over on 26 minutes.
THAT FINISH 😱😱
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) 16 April 2018
Buoyed by the try, the visitors went close as the half progressed.
Morgan Knowles was held up with two minutes to go and then a short pass from Theo Fages saw Taia halted right on the line.
Saints weren’t going to pass up their third opportunity though and, as the hooter sounded, Lomax found Percival for his second of the game.
Wakefield 22 Saints 14 the scoreline at the break.
Six minutes into the second half Danny Richardson’s 40:20 got Saints on the front foot – and they took full advantage as a short ball from dummy half saw Luke Douglas crash over.
Richardson goaled to bring the visitors within two points and they should have gone ahead when the young scrum half picked up a stray Trinity ball on the right hand side.
But, as his pass came inside, Ryan Morgan was tackled off the ball and the chance was gone.
Jacob Miller was lucky to not see yellow for the challenge, but Saints couldn’t take advantage of the penalty and repeat set after they forced a drop out.
Saints invited Wakefield back on to them with back to back penalties before Morgan almost crossed in the corner.
But Bill Tupou ripped the ball out and then raced down the other end of the field.
Liam Finn added a penalty to take it out to 24-20 before a chaotic final ten minutes almost brought the points home for Saints.
A fantastic flowing move saw Jonny Lomax race away for a certain try but Tyler Randell hit the stand-off high and from behind to halt the chance.
He was given a yellow card for the tackle; Saints unfortunate not to be given a penalty try as a result.
Saints came again in search of points but were penalised in succession – once for moving off the mark and another for interference after a short kick.
That last one saw Mark Percival take ‘yellow’ for disagreeing with the decision.
It left Saints with one last flurry at the line in the final minute but in all fairness the chance had already gone and Trinity held on for the win.
Justin Holbrook cut a frustrated figure after the 24-20 loss to Wakefield saying his side didn’t match the work-rate of their opponents.
“Wakefield played well today and all credit to them,” he said. “They worked harder than us. We would make a break and they had players coming from everywhere to stop it. Then they would break and score. I was really disappointed with our effort today.
“We kept going until the end and had a chance of getting away with it but when you look at the 80 minutes, that 15 minute period in the first half cost us. It’s unlike us this year to let soft tries in. We did that today and that is why we didn’t get the win.
“James Roby was a loss; you don’t replace players like that easily but it didn’t have a bearing on the result.
“It’s important to bounce back now. I don’t want to take anything from Wakefield as they were great today, but we need to bounce back on Friday and play better that’s for sure.”
Tries: Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Horo, Tupou
Goals: Finn (4 from 5)
Tries: Percival (2), Makinson, Douglas
Goals: Richardson (2 from 4)
REF: G Hewer
1. Scott Grix; 5. Ben Jones-Bishop, 4. Reece Lyne,18. Joseph Arundel, 3. Bill Tupou; 6. Jacob Miller, 7. Liam Finn; 17. Craig Huby, 13. Tyler Randell, 20. Keegan Hirst, 11. Maty Ashurst, 12. Daniel Kirmond, 14. Justin Horo.
Subs: 8. Anthony England, 9. Kyle Wood, 16. Tinirau Arona, 22. Jordan Baldwinson.
23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 7. Matty Smith, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles.
Saints host Huddersfield Giants this Friday April 20 at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Tickets are available from the Ticket Office at the Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.