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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Bumper crowd for Haven clash

WHITEHAVEN look to be heading for a bumper four-figure crowd against Championship title favourites Featherstone Rovers on Sunday (3pm).

Whitehaven coach photo
Dave Woods

The visitors have indicated they will bring a large travelling support to the Recreation Ground, and interest in Haven’s toughest test of the campaign so far is expected to be high.

“Featherstone anticipate they will bring over 300 supporters,” said Haven chief executive Barry Richardson. “If our fans get behind the club, it will be a really fantastic atmosphere. Hopefully they can spur the lads on to a really good performance.”

Haven’s fairly promising start to their Championship campaign hit the buffers in the opening 12 minutes of the second-half at Dewsbury last weekend, when they conceded 24 unanswered points – four converted tries – on their way to a 46-8 defeat, after trailing just 16-8 playing up the slope in the first-half.

“That’s the difference between now and the lower league,” said coach Dave Woods. “In the blink of an eye you can be three tries down in six minutes of play, and we have to adjust to that. The beauty of this sport is that seven days later you can redeem yourself.

“What disappointed me was that when Dewsbury scored those first two tries we were still in it, but then heads dropped, and we can’t afford that.

“We have to put it behind us, get stuck in and train hard this week. The top team in the league are coming to us and we need to have a go against them.

“We had a positive response in training on Tuesday night. They trained really well and were hurting, there’s no doubt about that.

“Every team will go through a patch during the year where they can’t do anything right, and that was ours on Sunday, hopefully.”

Woods is not planning wholesale changes in light of the Dewsbury result and is keeping faith with his own squad, rather than look to dual registration partners St Helens for players.

“We may make a couple of changes and rotate a couple of players,” he added. “We will have a better look on Thursday night.”

Papua New Guinea international prop Rodney Pora will touch down at the Recre on Monday and is likely to be available for the following weekend’s trip to Hunslet. Richardson paid tribute to a stalwart group of fans who contributed to the signing.

“It was another signing helped by a donation from the Vice-Presidents, which is greatly appreciated by the club,” he said.

“They have been a big help in putting our team together, led by Des Byrne and Ron Batty. It’s a really active group within the club and have hosted a number of really well-supported functions, with a lot more to come.

“People who attend have an excellent night and also help bring in funds to the club.”

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: J Hands, Arlecdon, with ticket number 751; R Holm, Bransty, 752; G Dryden, Distington, 3,844; M Owens, Queen Street, Whitehaven, 1,088; Mr Jackson, Orgill, Egremont, 3,492.

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