The South Sydney Rabbitohs have endured a tough start to their UNE SG Ball season, though barnstorming forward Lachlan Gale remains confident that there is plenty to look forward to in 2018.
Standing in as captain for the first time against the Steelers in Round 2, Gale immediately made his presence felt with many brutal defensive efforts.
While disappointed with the 26-14 loss to Illawarra, Gale was happy with his personal performance, but admits there is plenty of room for improvement.
"I went alright but I could have done a bit more in defence. It was tough out there in the heat," he tells NSWRL.com.au.
"But the overall performance I was pretty happy with myself – it's definitely tougher with the heat because it takes a few minutes off your game but you just have to push through and support your teammates."
Gale’s relentless defensive work rate is matched with his strong efforts with the ball in hand, making countless carries through the middle-third that constantly inspires his fellow teammates.
‘Playing young’ in the Under-18s competition, Gale embodies the qualities of a born leader – a trait that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the South Sydney coaches.
"Captaining is a bonus [on top of playing for South Sydney], it's good to lead the boys out onto the field,” Gale says.
"I was really happy to be named captain, it's a leadership role and to be a role model for the other boys, it's good the coach sees that in me.
"I just play the same I usually play but talk a bit more and be the best leader I can."
First sighted in the Cardinal and Myrtle as a 12-year-old playing in the Rabbitohs’ Under-13s development side, Gale progressed through the club’s junior ranks before starring in the Harold Matthews Cup, and now SG Ball.
A testament to his work ethic and desire to self-improve, representing the Rabbitohs means more to Gale than words can describe.
"It's a massive honour [playing for South Sydney]. I've been growing up been wanting to play for them and getting the opportunity to do this is pretty amazing," he says.
"The motto before the game is play for your team-mates and play for yourself.
"We lost today but we still put in for each other and tried our best."
Two rounds into the UNE SG Ball season, Gale has solidified himself as one of the leaders of the Rabbitohs pack – his strong performances a sign of a bright future at the foundation club.