NEWS | Whitehaven match preview

NEWS | Whitehaven match preview

13th March 2019

The Dons return to league action with a long trip to Cumbria to take on Whitehaven in Betfred League One.

Richard Horne’s side have won four of their five games in all competitions so far this season, and go into the game on the back of a comfortable 38-16 victory over Coventry Bears in the Coral Challenge Cup third round.

Whitehaven beat Keighley Cougars at the Recreation Ground on the opening day of the season, before being beaten by Oldham a week later. They got back to winning ways last time out, progressing into the fourth round of the Challenge Cup with a 74-4 thrashing of Wigan St.Pats.

Who’s the gaffer?

Gary Charlton took over the head coach’s role at the end of last season after player/coach Carl Forster announced he was leaving the club. Charlton is well known in Cumbria having also coached Barrow, Carlisle and Whitehaven. He was in charge of Workington between 2009 and 2014, and has more recently been involved with Maryport in the Cumbrian Men’s League. He has already got his first win under his belt and will be looking for many more throughout 2019.

Ones to watch

Jessie Joe Parker

The powerful centre is a firm fans favourite with Whitehaven after being with the club since 2012. Always a threat with the ball in hand, the Papua New Guinea international is a teammate of Dons’ centre Jason Tali for his country. Parker was in and out of the side throughout 2018 for various reasons, but will be looking to guide Haven to a strong position this season. He will be a player that is identified as a key threat for the Dons to contend with once the game is underway.

Dion Aiye 

Another Papua New Guinea international, Aiye is regarded by many as one of the best players in the competition. His battling style from the back-row position has seen him linked with a number of moves to a higher level, but he has stuck with the Cumbrian side and developed his own game at the Recreation Ground rather than moving on. A left side of Aiye and Parker is sure to cause plenty of sides problems as the Betfred League One season progresses.

Jason Mossop 

Mossop joined his hometown club from neighbours and close rivals Workington Town at the end of 2017. The centre had spent the previous 11 years at Derwent Park, playing more than 200 games for the club and being granted a testimonial year by the RFL. After beginning his career with Castleford Tigers at the age of 17, Mossop enjoyed loan spells with the Dons and Batley before joining Workington. The centre is now into his second season with Haven, and is always a threat on the edges.

Last time out

The Dons beat Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground back in August to secure their sixth straight win in Betfred League One. Brad England scored what proved to be the match winning try with four minutes left on the clock to wrap up a 23-14 victory and make the journey back to South Yorkshire a sweet one.

NEWS | Whitehaven match preview