Luke Gale - 'Nines' rugby league is a great way of introducing our game to a new audience

I WATCHED the NRL 9s last weekend and wouldn’t it be great if we could have something like that over here?
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Nines rugby league is a different style of game and that’s exciting.

I know cricket is very good at bringing new ideas in and attracting different fans, like the 100-ball competition that starts this year and I think we should be doing the same.

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During the week, I spoke with Elliott Whitehead who played in the 9s in Perth. He said there was a festival feel to it and it was an amazing event.

Ash Handley.Ash Handley.
Ash Handley.

Canberra didn’t win a game and he was captain so I gave him a bit of stick for that, but I would like to see our comp’ get something similar-ish.

The NRL play it as a pre-season event and that wouldn’t work here. The last thing we need is to be starting the season earlier and finishing later and if something’s spread over four hours or so it has to be in decent weather, but maybe there would be a slot in the middle of the year when it would work.

I think the players would definitely be up for it and our Leeds team would be suited for that style of game. It’s something we’ve actually spoken about.

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Not myself, but the likes of Ash Handley and Harry Newman, all the pace and the young lads we’ve got, I think we’d go really well at it.

Harry Newman.Harry Newman.
Harry Newman.

It would take some planning and everyone in the sport would have to get behind it, but I don’t see why we can’t look to something like that in the future.

Speaking of the NRL, it’s the World Club Challenge tomorrow and I will be putting my St Helens hat on for the evening.

I watch a lot of NRL and I know what a good side Sydney Roosters are, but it would be great to see an English team take the world title again.

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It would be a real boost for our competition and a bit of a confidence-booster with the Kangaroos coming over for the Ashes later this year.

St Helens' Jonny Lomax.St Helens' Jonny Lomax.
St Helens' Jonny Lomax.

The Aussies always say they are going into it rusty, because their season hasn’t started yet, but I think Saints have a great chance, especially with Jonny Lomax in such outstanding form.

I would love to see them win. I’m an English lad and I really enjoy seeing any English team get one over on the Aussies.

We have got a big game tomorrow as well and we’ll go to Salford in good spirits after last week.

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It’s always important to get your first win of the year and to do it in such good style was really pleasing. After the disappointing performance against Hull, we were keen to get back out and right some wrongs.

Luke Gale.Luke Gale.
Luke Gale.

The postponement the week after at Huddersfield made us even more wound up to get back on the horse and I thought we came up with a great performance.

For the fans, after the disappointment in round one, I think it was exactly what we needed: a performance and a good scoreline. Putting 50 points on any team is tough and I liked our intent and the way we went about it.

It was extra-special for me because it was my first win as a Leeds player, I got my first points and I captained the team.

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Leeds is my hometown team and I’ve been a fan since I was a boy so it was a proud moment. All my family were there so it was perfect.

Having said all that, we can’t get complacent. Salford have had a few changes this year, but we are under no illusions, we know we have to back it up with another win.

We need to steel ourselves and go again. At this stage of the season, the important thing is being consistent.

You might play really well and still get beaten in some games but, as long as you are putting consistent performances out, that is the main thing.