MAN OF STEEL Luke Gale’s comeback from injury has given Castleford Tigers a huge boost going into the business end of the season and he reckons he will build on a solid return.
Gale set up four of Tigers’ six tries in last weekend’s 36-4 win over Catalans Dragons and kicked six goals from seven attempts.
It was his first rugby, at any level, since suffering a fractured kneecap in a home win over Wakefield Trinity on April 27. Now Gale is looking to build his form and fitness over Tigers’ final four games before the Betfred Super League semi-finals.
“It has been a long four months,” admitted the England scrum-half, whose comeback match was his 100th appearance for Tigers.
“It has felt like probably a year, but it is good to be back.
“I am just going to keep turning up, keep training.
“I felt all right, I am happy – I’ll take it and move on.”
Despite the long lay-off, Gale felt his timing of passes was good, he was happy to be involved in the build-up to so many tries and there were no problems with his damaged knee.
“I felt sweet, I felt like I got straight back in,” he added.
“A few assists, I am happy and the knee is sweet.
“I didn’t feel the knee whatsoever, I probably felt the lungs more than the knee.”
Tigers’ big win over the new Ladbrokes Challenge Cup holders lifted them a place to third in the Super-8s table.
Gale said: “It was a good (team) performance.
“We were a bit scratchy with the ball, we put a bit of ball down, but they come after you in defence, they are aggressive.
“I thought the highlight for us was probably our defence.
“I thought our attitude was great and overall it was probably a seven out of 10 .
“We will take that and we’ll move on to the next game.”
Gale is set to continue his return when Tigers visit Hull on Friday evening.
Hull are on a seven-game losing run and were embarrassed 80-10 at Warrington Wolves six days ago.
“Their attitude probably got questioned after last week’s game,” Gale observed.
“There is always a bit of a revival after that happens and I am sure they will come out firing.
“Hull is a place where we’ve not done great so we will be looking to fix that up.”
One more point will mathematically guarantee Tigers’ place in the top four, but Gale insisted the next few games are all about gaining momentum for the play-offs.
“We want to keep building and keep working hard towards the semi-final,” Gale said. “Last week was one step towards that and Hull on Friday is another.
“We were on fire all last year, apart from one game in the Grand Final.
“We have learned our lesson from that. St Helens started off awesome, but Wigan have put a marker down these last few weeks and they are probably the team to beat now.”