More to Leeds Rhinos than live-wire Luke Gale warns Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell

LEEDS RHINOS skipper Luke Gale described his performance last week as “poor”, but Daryl Powell felt that assessment was harsh and reckons his Castleford Tigers side will have to play well to keep the scrum-half quiet today.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 4:59 pm
Castleford Tigers head coach, Daryl Powell. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Gale was Man of Steel in 2017 when he inspired Tigers to top spot in Betfred Super League, but joined his hometown club Leeds ahead of last season.

The sides have met only once since, Gale being among Rhinos’ try scorers in a 28-24 win last October.

After missing most of pre-season with a pectoral muscle injury, the England half-back was disappointed with the way he played in last Saturday’s win over Wakefield Trinity.

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Leeds Rhinos' danger man and former Castleford Tigers star half-back Luke Gale. Picture: Steve Riding.

But Powell said: “I thought he distributed the ball really well and got the ball to the edges, where they applied a lot of pressure to Wakefield.

“Luke is pretty harsh on himself, I know he will be wanting to play well and we don’t want him to.”

Despite describing Gale as a “dominant factor in what they do with the ball”, Powell insisted he doesn’t regard Rhinos as a one-man team.

He noted: “They play a fair bit of football in terms of moving the ball so they are going to challenge you.

“They have got some real go-forward in the pack. They have two livewire hookers and some really good, young outside-backs so they are a challenge.”

Leeds have won three of the sides’ four meetings since the start of 2019, ending a stranglehold which Tigers held for four seasons.

“They played pretty well last week ,” Powell added of today’s opponents at TW Stadium, St Helens.

“Wakefield did as well, it was a good game and they came out on top. We were dominant over them for a fair period, but they have started to fight back and we need to play well.”

Powell felt his team “put a marker down and made a statement” with last week’s 21-12 win over Warrington Wolves.

Tigers dominated throughout against one of the pre-season title favourites, but Powell pledged: “We need to be up there again.

“It is a short turnaround, we have got a day less than Leeds, but we feel like we have handled this week well and we are looking forward to it.”

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