Top of the league a third of the way through the season, Whitehaven’s squad will be urged to keep their feet on the ground.

Coaches Gary Charlton and Jonty Gorley have done a remarkable job in lifting Haven to the summit but they are not the types to get carried away.

Charlton said: “There’s a lot of rugby to be played before we can even think about finishing top. It’s nice to be up there but we would have been happier with a win on Sunday.

“That just showed how tight it can be in this league. We weren’t quite ourselves against Newcastle, not quite up there with what we showed against Town and Hunslet. That just emphasised how you have to be so consistent throughout a season. When you reach a standard, you have to maintain that constantly and not dip.”

Newcastle scored a converted try two minutes from the end to snatch a 12-12 draw at the Recreation Ground.

It was the second time Haven have been caught right at the end. Against Rochdale in the Coral Challenge Cup, they conceded two tries in the last four minutes to lose a match they had dominated for most of the time. But despite the fact they had been pegged back at the death, Whitehaven still ended the day as League One leaders as Hunslet were surprisingly beaten 42-26 at home by London Skolars who are the next visitors to the Recreation Ground on May 26.

Charlton’s men get a break from League One rugby this weekend when they go to Oldham in the new 1895 Cup. Oldham provided the only blot on the Haven results sheet this season when they won 36-12 down there in the second game of the season. “We had no complaints on that occasion, the best team won but I expect to see an improvement when we go back there. We have shown improved form but need to be consistent and there was just a bit of a blip on Sunday against Newcastle,” said Charlton.