In Opposition - Whitehaven RLFC

In Opposition - Whitehaven RLFC

1st August 2017

Newcastle Thunder make a second trip of the year to the Recreation Ground on Sunday as round two of the Kingstone Press League 1 Super 8s sees Whitehaven RLFC as the opposition (KO 3pm)

Thunder take to the road looking to bounce back from a disappointing second half against Workington last weekend and close in on the play off positions which are currently two points away.

The teams have met twice already in 2017, having played each other at Kingston Park Stadium back in January, as part of the two clubs pre-season preparations and at the Recreation Ground back in May.

The head to head for the year between the two sits at one a piece, with Thunder taking the pre-season spoils with a 46 – 16 win, while Whitehaven sealed the league points on their own patch as they pulled away to a 34 – 20 victory.

After struggling at the start of the year, Whitehaven proved to be one of the form teams in the first phase of Kingstone Press League 1, losing only once in the fifteen fixtures before the split and playing some impressive rugby on their way to second in the table.

Carl Forster’s side only dropped points against Toronto Wolfpack, who were restricted to one of their lowest scores of the first phase of the season in Cumbria and to North Wales Crusaders, in a surprise 12 all draw on the penultimate pre split weekend.

Averaging 31 points a match in the phase one games, Whitehaven’s attacking ability has been back up by a reasonably tight defensive effort, conceding an average of just 15 points per game, allowing for relatively comfortable wins.

Their Super 8 kick off failed to live to those impressive heights last Sunday, as they slipped to a 2 – 15 loss against Barrow Raiders, a side that they had beaten 32-6 in the final round of phase one meaning both sides head into the game looking to take their first points in the Super 8s.


Three to watch

Carl Forster – Whitehaven’s player coach, the 24-year-old took over the reins after committing himself to the club’s future during 2016’s relegation battle.

A strong forward, he is one of the youngest members of the Whitehaven squad and one of the youngest professional head coaches in British sport.

He has lead by example throughout 2017 making Whitehaven a strong contender for promotion in the process.


Jordan Burns – 21-year old Burns joined Whitehaven from Warrington Academy in 2014 and has proved to be an key member of the squad since.

Playing in 43 Championship games for the club, the pacy winger has continued to impress this season, with 19 appearances to date and a total of 12 tries, ten of which have come in the league.

Whitehaven faced stiff competition to retain him for 2017, with his contributions making that effort worthwhile.


Scott McAvoy – A long standing member of the Whitehaven squad, McAvoy first arrived at the Recreation Ground in March 2006, after signing from amateur club Hensingham.

A double centurion in terms of appearances, McAvoy missed most of the 2016 season after picking up a knee injury against Leigh but opted to re-sign after making a successful recovery.

The centre has featured in all but one of Whitehaven’s competitive fixtures this season, scoring eight tries.

In Opposition - Whitehaven RLFC