Whitehaven head coach Gary Charlton said a disallowed try proved to be the game changer as they lost out to Oldham.

Charlton was convinced Ethan Kelly had scored his first try in senior rugby when he crashed over the Oldham line, and under the sticks, early in the second half.

It was disallowed for a forward pass but a try then, plus the conversion from in front, would have put Haven only four points down with Roughyeds reduced to 12 men because Anthony Bowman had been given a yellow card for a shoulder charge.

Said Charlton: “I was disappointed with our first-half performance [Haven trailed 22-6 at half-time] when we let in a couple of soft tries.

“In the second-half we rolled up our sleeves and got it back to 22-12 when we had a perfectly good try disallowed for a forward pass.

“That would have made it 22-18 and provided a different game altogether. It was the game-changer, no doubt about that. They were down to 12 men and it would have been our third unanswered try as we started to get on top.

“I can’t say too much because I would only get intro trouble but I think its fair to say that since I’ve come back from a spell out of the game, I’ve noticed that officiating standards have dropped a bit and its up to the RFL to get it right.

“We’ve also to look at ourselves, though, and make sure we roll up our sleeves when things get tough and have a dig. We did that in the first 20 minutes of the second half but not in the first half and not in the later stages of the second half.

“Individually, we had a lot of decent performances and I was pleased with Ethan on his debut. He took the ball up strongly and had two tries disallowed which reflected how much work he did on his debut. Jordan Burns had to go off after a kick to the head and he was unable to return; doctor’s orders.

“We’ve got a free Sunday next up before we go into the Coral Challenge Cup the week after that.”