Castleford star Gale looks for more improvement in World Cup semi

Garry Lo runs at the England defence during the World Cup quarter-final with Papua New Guinea. Picture: NRLPhotos
Garry Lo runs at the England defence during the World Cup quarter-final with Papua New Guinea. Picture: NRLPhotos

The World Cup adventure is over for Castleford Tigers duo Garry Lo and Ben Roberts, but team-mates Luke Gale and Mike McMeeken remain in Australia preparing for the semi-finals this weekend.

Tigers half-back Gale, who has grown as an international as the tournament has progressed, has retained his place in the England team as they look to reach the Rugby League World Cup final this Saturday.

Gale has played in all four of the England games in the competition and has now been named at number seven for the semi-final against Tonga, but there is disappointment for his Castleford clubmate, McMeeken, who has been left out of the squad.

England have gone with the same 17 that beat Papua New Guinea 36-6 in Melbourne with their best performance to date, but have made two changes on their reserves list with Jonny Lomax and Scott Taylor replacing Stefan Ratchford and George Williams in the four listed reserves.

Gale, meanwhile, has spoken about how much he is enjoying the experience, while admitting it is different playing for England to getting the Tigers round the pitch in Super League.

He said: “It’s been great.

“Obviously we didn’t get off to the greatest of starts against the Aussies and Lebanon was a bit indifferent, but we’re peaking at the right time.

“Wayne’s shown a lot of faith in me. I’ve still got some improvement in my game.

“We play a bit different – it’s a bit more of a possession game over here and we probably throw the ball a bit more at Cas. But you’re playing rugby. It’s not a lot different. The combinations is the main difference, you’re used to week-in, week-out with your club team.

“It’s a bit different in this environment, but I think we’re getting there. It brings out the best in you, sudden death football. Everything’s on the line.

With England’s quarter-final victims being Papua New Guinea it meant the end of the road for new Cas winger Lo, but he took the chance to impress again in the match.

Lo scored his side’s only try and ran strongly throughout to show fans back home what an asset he can potentially be for the Tigers next season.

Also out of the World Cup is Castleford half-back Roberts, whose Samoa team were well beaten 46-0 by Australia in their quarter-final.

Despite his disappointment Roberts took to Twitter to share his feelings on playing in the World Cup.

He said: “As always an absolute honour to represent my family in a World Cup, which has now come to an end. Wasn’t the ideal campaign we planned, but a lot to take from the experience for the young usos. Thanks for the memories my brothers!”