Luke Gale - Excuse me being selfish, but I’m desperate to get Leeds Rhinos to Wembley

I WANT to say well done to the boys for what they’ve achieved over the past few weekends.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 6:00 am
Rhinos' Kruise Leeming gets away from Rovers Jez Litten (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

We had a tight win over Huddersfield and then beat Hull KR back-to-back in the Challenge Cup and Super League and I think, especially with the disruption we’ve had, that has been a big effort by everyone involved.

We’ve had players isolating, plus some injuries and suspensions, but the players who’ve come in have done a good job.

Last week wasn’t easy, backing up against Hull KR six days after the big Cup win; all the pressure was on us because we were expected to win, but I thought it was a professional performance.

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Luke Briscoe in action (Picture: SWPix.com)

We talked before the game about not dipping out toe in and not making it a slog.

We knew the game was going to be determined by how we turned up and I thought we turned up great.

They scored a couple of tries off kicks and when they throw the ball about that much they are always going to be a threat, but I think we’ve been really professional this month and we coped with it in good style.

Now we have got the biggest week of our season so far coming up, with Catalans on Wednesday and then Wigan three days later in the Challenge Cup semi-final at St Helens, which is like our second home now.

Leeds's Harry Newman is stretchered off after a leg injury against Hull KR. (Picture: SWpix.com)

Everything will be geared towards that and it makes for an exciting week and an important one as well.

Catalans will be tough, but if there’s a few changes to our team it will be a good opportunity for lads who have been waiting for a chance to show what they can do.

On a personal level, I am looking forward to Saturday, which will be my first semi-final.

I have had a terrible run in the Cup all through my career and this is the furthest I’ve been.

Every time I was at Castleford we got Hull – when they went on to win it – or St Helens, so to be in the last-four is a new experience for me and something I am really looking forward to.

We are 80 minutes away from a Cup final – which fortunately is still going to be played at Wembley – and if you can’t get up for that, you shouldn’t be playing the game.

With matches coming thick and fast, we’ve got to make sure we recover right and prepare well, but everyone will be pumped for Saturday.

It’s a real shame Harry Newman won’t be part of our team this week

You never like to see lads getting hurt and his double leg break against Hull KR was a terrible injury.

As soon as it happened you could see the discomfort he was in, but the medical staff did a great job treating him on the field before he went off to hospital.

Luckily for Harry, he is a young lad and I am sure he will come back bigger and stronger, but it is a big blow for him and for us.

He will have been looking forward to this week’s semi-final and he is one of our main performers.

I think he has been a stand out all year so it is gutting for him on a personal level.

I wish him a speedy recovery and I know everyone at Rhinos will support him and give him the backing he needs. He is a young lad, he is fit and strong, he is a great professional and he trains hard so – while it is hard to take at the moment – I have no doubt he will bounce back.

It is one of those things that, unfortunately, sometimes happens in rugby league.

You are always susceptible to injuries and this was a freak one, I think a body just landed on him and his leg went.

It was a tough one and not nice watching, but a total accident and by no means anyone’s fault.

There was a long stoppage while Harry was treated and I was pleased with the professional way we managed to carry on with the job afterwards.

It’s not easy to keep your concentration with a 10-15 minute break in the middle of the game, but you have to be able to adapt to these things of they happen.

It is the new normal – our game at the moment is all about being able to adjust and deal with difficult and unexpected situations.

Last week was our first daytime game since lockdown ended and travelling over to Warrington at 12pm on a Thursday was a new experience, but – to be honest – I would much rather travel at that time than rush hour when we usually make the trip.

It was a strange atmosphere inside the ground, with no crowd, but that’s something we are getting used to and sadly, after last week’s announcements, it looks like it will continue for quite a while.

We were all looking forward to seeing fans back in the ground this week, but that isn’t going to happen now and, again, we can’t do anything about that, we just have to crack on.