Whitehaven will be looking for much more pluses when they complete their pre-season programme on Saturday (ko 2pm).

Bogey team North Wales Crusaders, who have won at the Recreation Ground in the last two League One campaigns, visit west Cumbria a week ahead of the new Championship season.

Coach Gary Charlton had been hoping for a big step up against Workington Town on Sunday after a disappointing defeat at Newcastle Thunder a week earlier.

Charlton said: “It was a win, and it’s nice to regain the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy, but I wanted to see a bit more than what I saw. There was an improvement on the Newcastle performance but we wanted more, so will be looking for a convincing display against the Crusaders.”

Haven used 19 members of their 25-strong squad but injuries to Glenn Riley (displaced knee-cap) and Brett Carter (hamstring) mean that they won’t be involved on Saturday and will be sidelined for three weeks.

“Otherwise the lads who didn’t get a run out against Town will do so this weekend,” said Charlton.

The Haven coach has asked his father, Australia-based Paul Charlton to suggest potential recruits from Down Under as he continues his search for a half-back.

The club had expected to sign a Papua New Guinea player with Championship experience but after initially signing forms decided to stay in his homeland and play there.

“We are actively looking for a quality half-back and will continue to do so until we find the one that we want,” said Charlton.

Meanwhile, ahead of Saturday’s warm-up game at the Recreation Ground, North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has been expressing his pleasure at the way his squad has performed in two matches so far against Barrow and Widnes Vikings.

He said: “We gave the players a few things to focus on from the Barrow game and I thought we improved in a lot of areas I wanted them to.

“It’s hard to compare when we’ve got a totally different team to last year, but you look at where we are compared to this time last year and I think we surprised a few people.

“Some people may have thought that Widnes would run away with it, but full credit to my team as we were a match for Widnes at certain points of the game.

“You’ve got to give credit to Widnes because they’ve got some quality and are coached by a very experienced bloke in Tim Sheens.

“They did enough when they had to at the right times in the game to keep the momentum in their favour.

“Good teams do that, but our lads came off the pitch with a lot of credit.”