Newcastle Rugby League: Tough as teak Macquarie back-rower suffers major injury

INSPIRATIONAL: Macquarie second-rower and captain Blake Gallen. Picture: David Stewart

INSPIRATIONAL: Macquarie second-rower and captain Blake Gallen. Picture: David Stewart

MACQUARIE captain Blake Gallen is almost certain to miss the remainder of the Newcastle Rugby League season after he suffered a broken leg in the Scorpions’ 22-16 win over Central Newcastle at Lyall Peacock Field on Saturday.

Play was held up for 40 minutes as ambulances tended to the second rower.

“I spoke to him this evening before he went into surgery,” Macquarie coach Adam Bettridge said on Saturday night. “We wish him all the best with his recovery but I don’t think we will see him again this season.”

Gallen suffered the injury when scoring a try to put the home side ahead 10-6 midway through the first half.

“He went to put the ball down and a player landed on top of his leg,” Bettridge said. “He was in immense play. I went out on the field with him and he said ‘Ads I need green whistle (pain relief) I think I’m going to be sick’. Blake Gallen doesn’t lay down for no-one. He is as tough as they come.”

Gallen had a message for Bettridge as the NSW Country representative was being loaded into the ambulance.

“Last thing he said was ‘make sure we get the win’,” Bettridge said. “That is the type of players he is. He is all about the jumper and his mates. We will all get around him in this tough time and get him back on his feet.”

Central hit back to level the scores at 10-all at half-time. The second-half was an arm-wrestle.

Nathan Hinton crossed for the Scorpions only for Jake Maizen to level again at 16-all.

Prop Isaac Briggs regained the lead for the home side, charging over from 10 metres for a converted try with 10 minutes remaining.

The Scorpions then had had to defend their line for three sets and managed to hold Dan Metcalf in-goal at the death.

“Credit to the boys,” Bettridge said. “Blake is an inspiration and you can never replace him, but the boys lifted and showed some fight. We were behind on scoreboard with 15 minutes to go, to fight and come back and do what we done, I was super proud of them. It was a high-quality game of football. These two teams play the game tough but they have mutual respect for each.”

In the other game Saturday, Lakes United came from 16-10 down at half-time to overpower Kurri Kurri 32-22 at Kurri.