There is no doubt Dubbo’s Luke Gale has come on in leaps and bounds during the past year and the talented second-rower feels the current NSW Country tour of Western Australia will make him an even better player.
Gale starred for the NSW Country under-18s on Monday night, scoring a hat-trick against the North West Reds under-19s and picking up the man of the match award in his side’s first match of the tour.
The Macquarie talent was just one of the Country players to impress in the 70-0 demolition of the Reds.
“I thought I played well but we all played well and any of us probably could have got it,” he said of the award, before speaking about his form this year.
“I’ve been pretty happy with it and have just been trying my best and trying to improve and I feel like I’ve improved through all this rep stuff and playing under different coaches.”
All three of Gale’s tries came from close range on Monday night and all off passes from five-eighth and captain Isaac Worboys. But that wasn’t the only past of the Gilgandra product’s performance that caught the eye with his jarring tackles, decoy running and ability to break a tackle also a standing out.
“It’s a really big tour but it’s been good and all the boys have been getting along and there’s just a really good fell around the camp,” he said.
“It was a big game and a big win but we’ve gelled well and kept our structure.”
One of the added bonuses of the tour is that Gale gets to spend it with a number of players he has spent time with before. Nyngan Tigers lock Clayton Couley is also part of the side while there are five other Western Rams players in the squad.
The side’s structure will be crucial on Saturday when the Country under-18s take on the Western Australia under-18s side.
With much of the side having SG Ball experience, Gale is expecting it to be a real challenge his team.
“It’s going to be a big game and it will be a lot harder than Monday night,” he said.
“They’ll be bigger and have more structure but if we can stick to ours and our defence is as good as it was on Monday night then we can get another win.”
While confident of scoring another victory, Gale admitted the main thing he wants from the tour is more experience and the chance to improve more as a player.
“Just keep on improving my footy and see a different level to what I’ve been used to,” he said.
The Country under-18s meet Western Australia on Saturday before the Country Bulls senior side meet Western Australia as a curtain-raiser to the New Zealand Warriors and Manly Sea Eagles NRL match at Perth’s NIB Stadium.