WHITEHAVEN bounced back to winning ways with an impressive 28-6 win against London Broncos at the New River Stadium.

Haven were clearly fired up for this League One ‘top-of-the-table’ clash and controlled the game throughout, running in five tries, during a match played in sweltering conditions.

Kris Coward got the opening score to settle any nerves before quick-fire tries before the break from Sam Forrester and Dave Thompson gave Haven a commanding half-time lead.

Connor Holliday and Callum Phillips, who set up two tries, joined the list of try-scorers after the break as Haven clipped the heels of high-flying Skolars in a deserved victory.

Following two defeats on the bounce, Haven were under pressure with a number of teams snapping at their heels going in to this encounter.

Skolars had an opportunity to move level on points with a victory but Haven drove forward from the start. After successive sets came to nothing in a dominant opening, Holliday got the scoreboard ticking with an 11th-minute penalty after a tackle infringement.

Haven kept up the pressure on Skolars, and from a spilled ball, the visitors pounced when Coward got on the end of a pinpoint Phillips grubber kick to touch down under the posts on 15 minutes. Holliday slotted the conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Haven continued to boss proceedings and, after Thompson was forced into touch from a swift break, another Skolars knock-on brought dividends when Forrester, under pressure from full-back Ileus Macani, collected his own high kick a touch fortuitously, before crossing the whitewash just past the half-hour mark.

Another Holliday conversion gave Haven a 14-point lead, which was soon increased when Thompson got on the end of a superb cross field attack after Haven regained possession following a goal line drop out three minutes from half time. Holliday unluckily struck the underside of the bar with his kick at goal.

There was still time for Forrester to attempt a drop-goal in the last action of the half, but his kick was charged down. Haven though had a healthy 18-0 lead.

Gary Charlton’s table-toppers were caught cold on the resumption when Skolars cut the deficit with a neat try from centre Lameck Juma. Harry Smith kicked the goal.

Needing to react, Haven demonstrated their title credentials when Phillips set up Holliday for a simple score to end any hopes the hosts had of making a comeback. Holliday slotted the extras.

Haven proceeded to plough forward looking for another score.

Dion Aiye was an asset off the bench and almost snaked over while prop Marc Shackley was only just held up over the whitewash.

A fifth score seemed likely, but the heat was taking a toll on both teams in a stop-start phase of play.

Nevertheless, Haven continued to enjoy attacking field position, and 10 minutes from time, got their just rewards when man of the match Phillips broke through Skolars tiring defence to race over from 30 yards for a superb solo effort.

Holliday had also enjoyed a stellar display and kicked his fourth goal of the contest to complete the scoring.

Skolars looked for a consolation effort but were hindered by woeful handling at times.

With the game up, Haven saw out the win with ease, but there was still time for indiscipline, which will not have pleased Charlton as Thompson received a yellow card during a late skirmish between the sides.

The sin bin though could not detract from what was a professional display by Haven before the long trek back to Cumbria after a job well done with the points in the bag.

The result took Haven three points clear of Hunslet Hawks, having played a game more, and was a clear morale booster after recent losses.

Match Facts

Skolars: Macani, Agoro, Williams, Juma, Caro, Bishay, Smith, J. Greenhalgh, Thorman, M. Greenhalgh, Shorrocks, Palumbo, Hindmarsh. Subs: Davies, Scott, Tuliatu, Bryan.

Tries: Juma (47)

Goals: Smith 1/1

Haven: Burns, Bulman, Mossop, Taylor, D. Thompson, Forrester, Phillips, Shackley, Dowsett, Coward, Maudling, Holliday, Wilkinson. Subs: Aiye, Kelly, Newton, J. Thompson.

Tries: Coward (15), Forrester (33), D. Thompson (37), Holliday (47), Phillips (70)

Goals: Holliday 4/6

HT: 0-18

Penalties: 9-8

Referee: John McMullen

Star Man: Callum Phillips