Carl Forster has praised Whitehaven’s fans who made the long trek to Rugby to watch the west Cumbrians thrash Coventry Bears and bring back the League One title.

On Saturday, Gary Charlton’s team - watched on by an estimated 350 away fans - scored 13 tries to defeat Coventry 72-0 as they were crowned champions.

Forster, who afterwards presented his winners’ medal to team manager Des Byrne, said Haven’s troops had been keen to ensure they didn’t complacent.

He said: “We came here with a game-plan, this may have felt like a cup final but it wasn’t. We treated it like any other game, with a plan and not being complacent in any way.

“We treated Coventry with respect as they can catch you out and are a well-coached side, although this season has been a disappointment for them. We came down the night before the game and stayed nearby, again good planning and not taking anything for granted.

“On the day we kept things tight, everyone played their part, defending as well as attacking, and it all came out right for the players and of course all our fans who came down - [it was] great to see such support, especially down here in Warwickshire.”

Jordan Burns scored four tries, Dave Thompson crossed the whitewash twice, while Forster, Jacob Moore, Marc Shackley, Chris Taylor, Brett Phillips and Callum Phillips and Andrew Bulman also scored.

“Getting to win the league, and the promotion that comes with it, is about the whole year, every round not just this last game,” Forster added.

“Most of the year we’ve looked good, but we did have a tough run when things didn’t go our way, but we’ve been winning.

"Sometimes you win well, other times you win scruffy and that’s what we’ve done sometimes, but that’s what’s helped us put together a string of good results.”