St Helens drew a line under a difficult fortnight by getting back to winning ways against Wakefield Trinity at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
Knocked out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and starting their Betfred Super League Super 8s campaign with a defeat, Saints faced questions as to whether their season was faltering.
But they moved a step closer to wrapping up the League Leaders’ Shield after a 36-16 victory over a resolute Wakefield.
FT: Saints beat Wakefield on the road 36-16 to go 10 clear at the top of the table once more. Thank you to the Saints fans who made the trip over tonight - great support once more! #saintsandproud pic.twitter.com/PYPexPfQ72— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) August 16, 2018
Tommy Makinson bagged a brace of tries and Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Luke Douglas and Regan Grace each touched down once, while Danny Richardson booted six goals.
It was not plain sailing for St Helens, who moved 10 points clear of second-placed Wigan, against a side who handed them one of only two defeats during the regular Super League season.
Wakefield trailed 16-0 at half-time but tries from Kyle Wood, Pauli Pauli and Bill Tupou got them back to within six points before Saints pulled away.
St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook said: “It was just important we played well again. We didn’t just lose a semi-final, we were knocked out of a cup so we were pretty devastated. It was hard to physically get up for it (against Huddersfield Giants), never mind mentally, so I was OK with last Friday.
“It was just important this week that we had a normal week which was great and I came to the game thinking that we were back to our normal selves, and the boys showed that which was important.
“We knew how hard it was going to be and to come away with a good win is very pleasing.”
Wakefield boss Chris Chester said: “I’m very disappointed, very frustrated. I thought we started the game pretty good, high completions, kicked the ball well and then we had a 15-minute spell in that first half where we came up with six errors from nine sets.
“You can’t afford to do that against a top-quality side and Saints are a top-quality side.
“I was very disappointed to come in at 16-0 down. We showed plenty of character and energy to get back into the game. But credit to Saints, they were the better side and there’s a lot for us to work on next week.”