Castleford Tigers fans’ player of the year Luke Gale has spoken about the disappointment of not making the play-offs, but believes there is plenty to build on for next year.
The 27-year-old scrum-half has enjoyed his first year with the Tigers and happy to have played a part in some good rugby played by the team in 2015, but feels a lack of consistency has ultimately cost them a place in the top four.
He said: “As a team we’ve spoken about consistency and we’ve lacked it at times.
“That’s been summed up in games in recent weeks. St Helens put 18 points on us in 10 minutes, then we came back and in the second half we were not so good again. Against Huddersfield the week before, in 10 minutes they scored 18 points.
“The Catalans game was in the balance and even in the Huddersfield game we were in it. I know they ran away with it in the end and there was the sin-binning of Mike. We just couldn’t quite claw it back.
“I think playing for 80 minutes and being consistent with it is what we’ve struggled with. But we will be working really hard in the off season and in the last two games to try and fix that.
“We are disappointed to have missed out on the top four, but there’s a lot to build on.”
Castleford’s season is effectively over, but Gale does not think anyone is taking it easy yet with two more big games left to play.
He said: “You’ve got to finish your season on a high no matter what you are playing for - and I think that’s what we’ll do.
“Leeds away and Wigan away is enough in itself to get yourself up for the game.
“We like to go to these big teams and turn them over so we’ll not be going over there for a game of touch and pass, we’ll be going for the win.”
For Gale tonight’s game will be a return to the club where he started as a professional and he is looking forward to the challenge offered of taking on the long-time Super League leaders.
He added: “You are playing Leeds at Headingley, it’s a great game and you want to go there and get the win.
“Everybody likes going to Headingley and the boys are looking forward to it,
“It’s great to go there and get a win, it’s always a great game.
“They are tough opponents, obviously, but they are coming off the back of two losses and we’d like to think we can go over there and get a result.
“I think they’ve had a bit of a hangover from winning the Challenge Cup.
“I went to their game against St Helens and they just didn’t quite look themselves.
“Obviously it’s always tough to go to Catalans and you can kind of forgive them that one.
“But they need a win now and I’m sure Brian Mac will have given them a bit of a telling off should we say. They will be working hard this week to try and stump us.”