Leeds Rhinos a ‘cut above’ Castleford and aim to keep it that way - Luke Gale’s View From The Pitch

WITH THE sun shining and a good win under our belts, it’s fair to say we’ve been a much happier Rhinos camp this week.

Kruise Leeming, scoring his second try, was outstanding against Castleford, says Leeds Rhinos captain Luke Gale. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia.
Kruise Leeming, scoring his second try, was outstanding against Castleford, says Leeds Rhinos captain Luke Gale. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia.

Friday’s game at Cas was chalk and cheese compared with five days earlier against Hull and showed what we are capable of when we get our game right.

It is one of those fixtures you look forward to, especially at the Jungle which is a hostile environment and an exciting place to play, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Castleford obviously had other things on their mind, with a Challenge Cup semi-final coming up this weekend and they had a few out, but you can’t help but be impressed with how we went about it.

Luke Gale was thrilled to renew his partnership with Richie Myler, pictured scoring against Castleford last time out. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia.

After the start we’ve had, it was just what we needed.

We really got our combinations going and it was probably the first time this season we have looked a threat all over the pitch.

There were a few factors involved; for me personally, it was probably the first time I’ve relaxed, not tried to do too much and just focused on what my job is.

That worked, I thought. I’ll admit I have not played the way I’d want to play this year and the Hull game was an example of me trying too much and trying to be in on everything and not coming up with the quality in the end.

Half-back partners Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin are one of the reasons by Warrington Wolves have hit form in time for Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final with Castleford. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

I think I got sidetracked, with the team not going so well and me having been out injured – I came back and wanted to try and fix everything, but that’s not how it is going to work.

On Friday, I took a different approach.

The team works well when you do your job – I think last week I did the job I am paid to do, I put a bit of onus on our forwards and let them get the ball to me, instead of me trying to get the ball everywhere.

It definitely paid off and I thought from one-17 everyone was great.

We were a threat on both sides of the ruck and there were some really nice tries.

Kruise Leeming was outstanding; his service to the half-backs was top class, and I really enjoyed my link with Richie Myler, in what was only the second time we’ve played together this year.

It was exciting and I thought it looked like how we attacked last year, when we had all our team available.

I think that’s the blueprint we can go after now.

I have to mention the Cas fans and their ‘we paid for your hair’ chant.

It was genius, credit to whoever thought of that.

I like having a laugh, so I was all for that.

It was probably about 10-15 minutes into the game and I turned around and gave them a flick of the hair as well, just to say ‘I like it, well played’.

We have no game this weekend, but I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the Cup semi-finals.

To be honest, I don’t think Cas will beat Warrington.

I did Sky the other week when Warrington played Huddersfield and I was a bit critical of their attack in the first half but, when they changed it at half-time, they were a different side.

Since then, they seem to have got everything right – Gaz Widdop is in great form, his combination with Blake Austin is working really well and I think they are the form team in the competition.

It is going to be tough for Castleford to back up after getting beaten like they did.

I know they will throw everything at it and there’s added motivation with it being Daryl Powell’s last year there, but I think Warrington will have too much.

Hull know how to win the Challenge Cup and I think their semi’ could be a really tight game, but I am going to be boring and tip St Helens to win that one.

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