Whitehaven 58-24 Hemel Stags

A hat-trick of tries from player-coach Carl Forster was the highlight as Whitehaven ran rampant against Hemel Stags.

Despite a rocky opening few minutes, Haven were dominant for much of the game, although there were defensive lapses that allowed the visitors to run in 24 points.

Whitehaven suffered an early blow as Kurt Maudling had to leave the field inside the first 10 minutes clutching his arm, and he was replaced by Scott McAvoy.

The home side were creating opportunities but they were also making mistakes and the Stags were running hard.

The game remained pointless in the first 15 minutes but then it turned, with the arrival of Forster and Dion Aiye part way through the first half.

Haven picked up the pace and the tries finally began to come.

There was some good work out on the left-hand side where Dave Thompson refused to lie down for the Stags and he managed to get the pass away before he was brought down.

Steve Roper was supporting and he had an easy job to stroll over the line, with Paul Crook converting.

Whitehaven quickly got a taste for the try line as Forster broke through up the middle and drew in the full-back before releasing Elliott Miller.

The full-back did not need to be shown the way to the try line as he powered on to touch down, Crook again on target to double the lead.

A 40/20 kick got Haven back on the Stags line and, after both Chris Taylor and Miller went close, it was left to Forster to power over next to the posts and leave Crook another easy two-pointer.

But then Haven slipped up and let the Stags back into the game, Jono Burns found a gap in the defence to touch down, with Mitch Vincent converting.

The lull in the Haven scoring did not last long though as they replied in the best manner, Tommy Holland twisting and turning his way over the line.

Then a lovely little ball from Steve Roper set Dave Thompson flying down the left flank where he barged the last line of defence out of the way to go over in the corner. Crook just missed with his effort from the touchline.

The score was extended just two minutes before half-time as James Newton exploited a gap near the Hemel line to touch down and Crook converted for a score of 34-6 in their favour at the break.

The second half began the way the first had finished, with a try for Haven. McAvoy reached round his defender to offload the ball to the waiting Jessie Joe Parker.

He got close to the line before popping the ball to Thompson and the winger bagged his second of the game but Crook again missed with the kick from the touchline.

Forster barged his way over the line shortly after to collect his brace, with Crook making no mistake from in front of the sticks.

But back came Hemel who were not rolling over for their hosts and some sloppy defending let Jono Burns in for his second of the match, Vincent adding the two extra points.

And they got a second as Haven looked to tire with Brett Whitehead the scorer this time and Vincent again on target with the boot.

This seemed to be the kick Haven needed and they flew down to the opposite end of the field where Parker got the ball wide out and dived over the line but Crook again could not find the kick from the touchline.

Forster then sealed his hat-trick in the 67th minute. It was a free flowing move from Haven as Crook released Miller and then he, in turn fed Forster who definitely does not need to be shown where the try line is at the moment, running towards the corner to score.

Miller created something from nothing as he danced toward the touchline and then fed Holland who only had to stroll over the line, with Crook converting from in front of the sticks.

But the final word went to Hemel as Burns picked up his hat-trick, going over the line virtually unchallenged in front of the posts, with Vincent easily adding the extras for 58-24.

Haven: Miller, Thompson, Parker, Taylor, Burns, Roper, Crook, Holland, Tilley, Riley, Holliday, Maudling, Brown. Subs (all used): Aiye, Newton, Forster, McAvoy.

Tries: Roper 16, Miller 18, Forster 22, 54, 67, Holland 29, 73, Thompson 32, 46, Newton 38, Parker 64.

Goals: Crook 7/11.

Hemel: Vincent, Elliott, Tomlinson, Lawton, Forde, Whitehead, Barlow, Hawksworth, Burns, A Williams, Thornton, O'Brien, Hanson. Subs (all used): Samuel, R Williams, Crowther, Jarrett.

Tries: Burns 26, 57, 77, Whitehead 61.

Goals: Vincent 4/4.

Referee: Nick Bennett.

Half time: 34-6.

Crowd: 487.

Star Man: Carl Forster.