Whitehaven coach Gary Charlton was far from happy with his side’s performance, even though they eventually overcame the travelling Bears 32-18.

“A poor performance throughout” were the opening words of the Haven coach after the win that saw them extend their unbeaten league run to eight games, and maintain a three-point gap at the top of Betfred League One at the half-way point.

“The only positive from the game was the two points,” said Charlton.

“We fell away from what we do well. The best part of our game is our push and go forward and we didn’t set up to play the way we wanted to play.

“We’ve got to be disappointed with the way we played. We played in bursts of five minutes. Mistakes cost us tries, we made four or five errors and we gave them good ball in easy positions,” added Charlton.

Despite an improved second-half effort, Charlton said: “We conceded a couple of soft tries. It’s something that we need to work on. We were nowhere near where we need to be. We’re better than what we produced today and that’s what I’ve just told the lads in the changing rooms.”

One positive for Charlton was the return of Ethan Kelly. Kelly was back in the match-day squad for the first time in 10 weeks after suffering a fractured arm in the victory at West Wales Raiders back in March.

“He went well. He took the ball in well, he found the floor and played the ball fast. Defensively, he was very sound and give us what he asked,” said the Haven head coach.

Charlton also looked forward to the club’s tricky run of fixtures coming up, starting with the visit to the North East and Newcastle Thunder. “It’s always tough any time you go away from home in this league. Everybody’s competitive at home,” he said.