Castleford Tigers skipper Luke Gale admits the loss of his half-back partner Ben Roberts has been keenly felt in the last three games.
Roberts is in contention to return to the side for tomorrow’s game at home to Leeds Rhinos after missing the two defeats to Salford and Warrington and going off early against St Helens with a foot injury – and Gale will be glad to have him back.
He said: “He has been massive for us.
“It has been a good combination with him and myself.
“We have hit a few injuries in key positions and if any team loses their first half-back they are going to struggle.
“I am not sure if he’s back this week. We’ll have to make the most of what we’ve got and I’ll have to strike up a relationship with Ryan Hampshire. Hopefully that will come, but you are going to miss key personnel.”
Gale reckons his fledgling half-back combination with Hampshire cannot be judged yet after two games together and he believes the young loan player will make an impact given time.
He added: “We’ve only played two games and last week I can’t remember having the ball! We just defended for 80 minutes.
“But he is a good young player. The side has been struggling the last couple of weeks so he probably hasn’t shown in the best light, but he’s a really good player and we’ve been working hard in training this week. Hopefully we can pull the right strings on Thursday.”