Newcastle Thunder have a comfortable lead over a battle-weary Workington Town side at half time in this play-off eliminator.

The home side are 28-12 ahead but Town are still giving them a run for their money, despite only being able to name one on the subs bench.

Several injuries and a ban for Danny Tickle have not helped Chris Thorman's cause this week and Workington travelled to the north east with just 14 fit men.

It was a bad start for Town as Newcastle got into their faces from the off and got quick rewards for their efforts.

Inside the second minute a kick from Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e bounced over the line and was met by Kieran Gill to touch down, Rhys Clarke converting for an early lead for the home side.

But as soon as Town got their hands back on the ball, they completed a flowing move that led to a break for Perry Singleton.

He used the man on the outside, Russ Bolton before passing back inside to the supporting Blain Marwood who raced over next to the posts, leaving Carl Forber with an easy two-pointer to level the scores.

Newcastle got their noses back in front when they got a second set of six encamped on Town's line, Nick Newman saw the gap and dived over with Clarke again converting.

On the 20-minute mark Newman picked up his second, again spying the gap in the Town defence and ghosting through, with Clarke's goal handing Newcastle an 18-6 lead.

Workington tried to get back into the game as they whipped the ball out to the left again and Singleton put boot to ball and followed it up with a good chase but Newcastle just got there ahead.

And they broke right back upfield, then close to the line Laulu-Togaga'e dummied and went over the line himself. Clarke made it four from four attempts as they went into a 24-6 lead.

It was becoming too easy for Newcastle as time rolled on and on 33 minutes Gill got his second wide out and the resulting kick was missed but Thunder were firmly in the driving seat.

But you can never write Workington off and Sean Penkywicz caught Newcastle on the hop with a quick play from dummy-half and he released Singleton again.

The strong-running centre barged through the last line of defence and took several players over the line with him to score, Forber converting for 28-12.

Thunder will be going in at the break with a little bit of breathing space but Town still have 40 minutes to hit back.