CARL FORSTER was delighted with what he called a “pretty flawless” first half as North Wales Crusaders stretched their winning start to the League One season.

Victory number three of the campaign was in the bag by half-time as Crusaders roared into a 42-0 lead against winless Newcastle Thunder.

The side from the North East refused to throw in the towel and they responded with three second half tries as the match ended up 58-18 in favour of the North Wales side.

Asked if it was the perfect opening 40 minutes, Crusaders’ head coach Forster admitted: “It was. I think we only made two errors in the first half.

“We completed quite high. It was pretty flawless the first 40 minutes and we did drop off in the second half.”

Man of the match Dan Coates was on the money to convert Matt Reid’s third minute try and he also converted Reid’s second try of the contest in the 10th minute.

In-between these efforts, Jack Holmes powered over for an unconverted try.

Pat Ah Van, Shaun Costello and Matt Fletcher bagged further tries and one additional Coates conversion saw Crusaders 30-0 ahead after 28 minutes.

That advantage was stretched to 42 points by half-time, with tries by Levy Nzoungou and Jack Holmes both converted by Coates.

“We started really well and then we lost Reidy and the shape went a bit wayward,” said Forster.

“We had middles playing at centre and it seemed a bit hit and miss after that.”

That injury to Reid looks like keeping him out of this weekend’s big clash away to fellow unbeaten side Keighley Cougars.

Crusaders were unable to dominate the second half as much and Newcastle showed their battling qualities to stem the flow of tries.

“Subconsciously, you do drop off,” added Forster. “We knew it wasn’t going to be another 42 points in the second half.

“We just wanted to have a good performance and a good win.”

Another good win it was for the Crusaders, following on from previous triumphs over Cornwall and Midlands Hurricanes.

In the second half, Crusaders added another three tries.

The last of these was claimed by Ryan Ellis, while the prolific Forster maintained his own blistering start to the campaign with a brace of tries.

This makes it five tries for the player-coach from the first three league games of the season.

Reflecting on the positive opening to the League One season, Forster said: “We are where we are at the minute.

“We’re probably beyond where we should be in terms of where we were this time last year.”

Forster has also had praise for the fans and he told the club’s website: “We know at a club like ours that we need the support, it’s as simple as that, we need to keep building in the area.

“As a club I feel we are doing really good things off the field with the foundation and the atmosphere in the Fanzone before the games, it’s all pointing in the right direction. We just need to keep that crowd coming.”