WHITEHAVEN player-coach Carl Forster reckons his side’s performance in Toronto last week shows they can win promotion this season.

Forster and co host York City Knights tomorrow in the penultimate match of the League One Super 8s - with the two sides likely to meet again at the Recre in the play-off semi-finals in a fortnight.

While York are the only side to have beaten full-timers Toronto this term, Haven’s 36-18 loss in Canada was the closest anyone has got to the Wolfpack over the Atlantic. And Forster - who, like Knights boss James Ford has been shortlisted for the League One Coach of the Year accolade - believes it stands them in good stead for the play-offs as they look to bounce back up to the Championship at the first attempt.

Said the former Super League prop: “I thought, at one point, that we could have had them when the scores were so close.

“We had played really well for 60 to 70 minutes but what beat us was the full-time professional status of the Wolfpack. Because of that they are fitter, stronger and faster.

“But for us to stay close to them over there for so long speaks volumes about the quality we have as a team.

“It just shows we can stay with the best and that should give us great confidence for the matches to come.”

The Knights have a poor record at the Recre but Ford, despite fielding a weakened team, reckons his troops’ hopes of ending that hoodoo tomorrow could be boosted by the hosts’ jet lag.

He said: “They’ll be up against it coming back from Toronto. The logistics of that trip will be a barrier for them to overcome, especially coming into the final third of the game.”

Haven nevertheless will be bolstered by the returns of first-choice half-backs Paul Crook and Steve Roper and loose-forward Karl Olstrom, none of whom travelled to Canada.

Second-rows Scott McAvoy and Connor Holliday face late checks on knocks picked up last week, while prop Glenn Riley is a big doubt due to a recurring Achilles problem.