CHAMPIONSHIP side Whitehaven RL cannot afford to be complacent this weekend against Newcastle Thunder says the club’s assistant coach.

Whitehaven RL coaches will focus on skills work and defence around the ruck in training before a clash with Newcastle Thunder who they have previously beaten in the competition 29-20.

Assistant coach Jonty Gorley said: “They didn’t have the full side when they came to Whitehaven but we still beat a good side that day.

“I’m expecting them to be at full strength against us at the weekend.”

Gorley said that Newcastle had a tough game against Batley this past weekend “but they’re going well. I was told there was a lot of people missing from that Newcastle side but when I looked it was still strong.”

Newcastle’s ability to pose a threat without being at full strength is a sign of how competitive the Betfred Championship is.

Gorley said: “Every week is about us and how we perform. You don’t get a week off in this league. Our goal was to stay in this league if that means coming third from the bottom that’s our goal achieved.”

He added that Haven need to learn from their performance against Oldham because the side can beat any team in the Championship on their best day.

“It could have gone either way at the weekend. When we control the ball and go set for set we win games.”

But he said that Championship teams score against Haven when they give up the ball.

“That’s what you’ve got to do against teams in this league, you’ve got to capitalise on people’s mistakes.

“If you go set for set there’s less chance of people scoring against you.”

Haven travel to Kingston Park for the clash and kick-off takes place at 3pm on Sunday.