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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Haven humbled at hands of near neighbours Workington

OUTCLASSED, outmanoeuvred and outgunned – that was the verdict following Haven’s humbling at the hands of victorious neighbours Workington Town on Sunday.

Town thoroughly deserved their day in the sun after picking apart every one of Haven’s defensive frailties and racking up a 44-16 victory in the Northern Rail Cup clash at Derwent Park.

Whitehaven were outclassed from one to 17 by the Workington side, whose pack were tremendous from the off.

Former Seaton amateur Brett Phillips once again showed he was one to watch in the future with a superb showing in both attack and defence, well supported by some strong running from Jamie Thackray.

Kris Coward, Graeme Mattinson and James Robinson also put in strong displays, as well as fellow former amateur Daniel Rooney, who, along with Jason Mossop, made a formidable centre partnership.

Forber and Carter ran the show in the middle of the park while Whitehaven looked all at sea.

Lee Doran deserved special mention for his solid tackling and never-say-die attitude, along with Luke Isakka but there was definitely a spark missing in the visiting side.

They gave away too many penalties and forced too many mistakes, leaving themselves open to the marauding Town attack.

Carl Forber upped the tempo in only the second minute when he scorched away for an interception try under the posts and tagged on the resulting conversion to put Town into the lead.

It was a scrappy opening with tempers fraying early on but both sides looked up for the game and Whitehaven pushed hard to level matters and they did just that six minutes later.

Carl Rudd put out a nice long ball to the waiting Chris Fleming and he went over in the corner, and Rudd converted for 6-6.

A nicely timed 40/20 kick from the boot of Ben Karalius put Haven into a commanding position but then Jonathan Youds knocked on at the first play-the-ball and that was to set the tone for the visitors.

Graeme Mattinson took the ball right to the Haven line before slipping the pass to the supporting Rooney who gratefully dived over the line and Forber again converted.

Haven had their chances but nothing came off for them and everything was going right for Town.

They were playing well on the back of some strong runs from their pack and after 27 minutes they were over again.

Sheer determination saw Elliott Miller power up the left hand side and he surged over the line, taking at least two defenders with him for 16-6.

And that lead was stretched even further before the break when Thackray offloaded out of the tackle to release Carter.

When Whitehaven spread the ball quickly out wide they still had an element of danger but Town were managing to snuff it out quickly.

Dave Houghton was held up just inches short of the line and Jonathan Youds suffered the same fate shortly after.

They couldn’t capitalise on their field position either with silly mistakes and errors creeping into their game, Bradd Crellin knocking on at the base of the scrum when they were just 25-yards off the Town line.

And at half time, it was Workington with the advantage, 20-6.

The opening of the second half saw Town continue where they had left off, Thackray getting himself into a good position before a loose offload handed possession over.

But minutes later he redeemed himself as he powered over from close range, leaving Forber to add the conversion.

Then a fracas, which was put on report by referee Matthew Kidd, saw both Brett Carter and Craig Calvert sent to cool their heels in the sin-bin for 10-minutes.

And that seemed to spur Haven on, as they upped the tempo and Town were forced back towards their own line.

The home side gave away two penalties in quick succession and this time Haven took advantage as Scott George put Andreas Bauer in at the corner and Carl Rudd added an excellent touchline conversion.

Haven then forced a drop-out to put Town under some real pressure and Rudd decided to go himself from acting half-back but was held up over the line.

Then play swung back in Town’s favour as Forber put in a neat grubber kick to the line and Brett Phillips was there to dive over and touch down, Forber’s conversion making the scoreline 32-12.

Whitehaven went for the short kick off but it blew out on the full and they were on the back foot once more and Town picked up their second try in two minutes as Thackray got on the end of a short ball from Darren King to crash over for his second.

Forber added his fifth goal of the afternoon and Town were now well in the driving seat at 38-12.

Marc Shackley got in on the try scoring act for Town’s final points of the afternoon as he powered over the line, with Forber converting for 44-12.

Carl Sice added a consolation try two minutes from time as he twisted and turned his way over the line but it was too little too late for Haven.

It was Workington’s afternoon and they certainly deserved the local bragging rights with a 44-16 victory.

And with several of their top names still to return it certainly bodes well for the league campaign at Derwent Park.

Match facts

Town: Miller, Dawes, Mossop, Rooney, Olstrum, Carter, Forber, MacDonald, Mattinson, Coward, Whitehead, Phillips, Robinson. Subs: King, Shackley, Tunstall, Thackray.

Tries: Forber, Rooney, Miller, Carter, Thackray (2), Phillips, Shackley.

Goals: Forber 6/8.

Haven: Youds, Fleming, Bauer, Wiper, Calvert, Rudd, Karalius, Houghton, Smith, Varkulis, Doran, Isakka, Crellin. Subs: Sice, George, Bewsher, Cullnean.

Tries: Fleming, Bauer, Sice

Goals: Rudd 2/2; George 0/1.

Referee: Matthew Kidd.

Half time: 20-6.

Attendance: 1,147.

Star Man: Brett Phillips (Town).

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