Whitehaven coach Gary Charlton has demanded a reaction from his players in Sunday’s clash with Workington Town.

Charlton wants to win back the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy which Haven lost hold of at Derwent Park a year ago. But to do so they will have to step up on what they produced at Newcastle Thunder on Saturday.

Charlton admitted it wasn’t good enough as Whitehaven produced a string of errors in a 40-16 defeat.

“I don’t think I’ve seen us offside as many times as in this game and we couldn’t keep hold of the ball for long enough,” he said. “Things must change after a performance like that but I know the players weren’t happy either so I am confident of a back-lash and a response.”

Town won back the Trophy on home soil with a 24-6 victory, which was built on scoring the opening try after only 46 seconds. Although pre-season warm-up games are, in effect, trial matches, the same could not be said about the Ike Southward clash between the two deadly rivals.

Drawing one of the biggest crowds of the season, there’s always been extra keenness from both clubs to lift the trophy, as it was instigated in memory of one of west Cumbria’s true sporting greats.

“It’s a special pre-season game for both clubs which is why I know there will be a reaction after such a disappointing effort at Newcastle,” said Charlton.

“It’s not what any of us in the coaching team were expecting, and I’m sure the players thought it would go better than it did. We will be working hard in training this week and I am sure the Whitehaven supporters will be a lot happier with what they see on Sunday,” said Charlton.

Haven should virtually have a full squad to pick from with the main concern centring on Connor Holliday who over-stretched a hamstring at Newcastle.

If there are any doubts Holliday won’t be risked as Haven still have another home warm-up game on January 26 against North Wales Crusaders.