England half-back Luke Gale is not surprised with how well Castleford Tigers are performing in 2017.
The Tigers are seven points clear at the top of the Betfred Super League with four games to go to the start of the Super 8s and playmaker in chief Gale is obviously pleased with the current position, but knew the team was in for a good season before the first ball kicked.
“Coming into pre-season we knew we had a special side and we’ve been kind of building for the past two years,” he said.
“We were fifth last year and we knew we had the team, we just had to sort a few things out, mainly our defence.
“We knew we had the attacking game to beat anyone, it’s just doing it week in, week out.
“I think it was in the warm-up game against St Helens when we were outstanding that I thought we’ve got a team capable of going somewhere this year.
“We’re now seven points clear, but there’s still a long way to go and there’s plenty of water to go under the bridge so they say.
“The tough parts are coming and we’ve got to stand up to that.
“One at a time is all we focus on, we’ll not look past Friday and see where we are after that.”
Gale is leading the way again this year in the Albert Goldthorpe Medal standings and is happy with his form at this stage of the season.
He commented: “I seem to get asked in every interview if I’m playing the best rugby of my career, but I can say I’m playing in probably the best team I’ve ever played in and I’m happy with my own form.
“I’m playing off the back of some good forwards and we’ve got another sensational winger who seems to score three every game – and that kind of makes you look good.
“I’m playing outside some good players. I’m really happy and my team helps me, we all help each other, to be honest.
“Paul McShane gives me great service and we just know each other’s game. That compliments each other really well and I think that shows out there.”
Gale is now turning his attention to the next game and the chance of revenge against a Hull side he said have been too good for the Tigers in their previous two meetings this year.
He added: “I think we owe them, to be honest.
“They will be revved up – obviously they found a way to beat us last time and the time before.
“I am sure they’ll be confident, but we’ll be looking to bounce back. It’s a big game. A bit like us with Leeds, they’ve beaten us twice this year and we’ll be looking for revenge.
“It will be a great game and it would be nice to get one over them, but it will be tough and we need to right a few wrongs from last time we played them.
“They’ve played really well twice against us and got over us. Our boys will be looking to respond this week and I’m sure we will.
“We love playing at home and we play our best footy down here. We’re really looking forward to it and I’m sure the fans will be out in numbers to support us like they always do so it will be a great atmosphere.”