Anderson demands more from his Saints

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The Independent Online

The St Helens coach, Daniel Anderson, was far from satisfied despite seeing his side secure a comfortable 34-8 victory against Wakefield on Friday night.

The Super League leaders were guilty of several handling errors and conceding several needless penalties during the first half but led 10-8 at the break. Leon Pryce and James Graham both claimed a pair of tries apiece as the Knowsley Road club ground out an ultimately comfortable win.

The success allowed Saints to extend their winning run to 12 games and equalled their own club record of 12 Super League matches undefeated, set in 1996 during Shaun McRae's reign.

However, Anderson admitted his side were far from at their imperious best. "I think we fell a fair way short of how we want to play," he said. "In terms of our completion rates, it was ridiculous how many times we decided to cough the ball up. I think that we can play a much more mature and professional game, especially when things don't go our way. And things didn't go our way and we gave them too much possession."

Saints have now beaten every team in Super League this season and stand six points clear at the summit. But Anderson is refusing to read too much into the early-season form. Last season his side finished top of the table at the end of the regular rounds but a cruel run of injuries put paid to their Grand Final hopes as they were eliminated at the play-off stage.

The Saints coach added: "Beating all these sides isn't relevant unless you do it at other stages of the year. I'm comfortable with the points we've got but it doesn't mean much at the moment."

Pryce's influence ultimately proved crucial for Saints as the stand-off crossed the line either side of the break and orchestrated another touchdown for Sean Long. However, a superb first-half double from the Wakefield wing Semi Tadulala ensured that Saints only held a slender 10-8 advantage.

The Wakefield coach, Tony Smith, took heart from his side's display, but admitted that they had switched off at vital times. He said: "I don't think the scoreline reflected the game but we came up a bit short. And St Helens, being the class team that they are, scored just before and after half-time and killed the game. To let them in at half-time was a big thing and it might have been a different game had we gone in at the break with a 10-6 lead. We put in a lot of effort and came away with nothing."

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