The England scrum-half made a first return to his former club on Friday since leaving for Rhinos at the end of 2019 and was hugely influential in their unexpected, biggest-ever victory at Wheldon Road.
Gale played more than 100 games for Castleford during his five-year stint, memorably winning Man of Steel when helping them finish top for the first time and reach a maiden Grand Final in 2017.
That was also the year he underwent a £6,000 hair transplant to help rescue his receding hairline.
And the home fans had Gale in stitches when they reminded him of that during Friday’s Super League game.
“Whenever I’ve played Cas before, whether with Bradford or Harlequins, I’ve loved going there because you do get some stick,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“It’s hostile. They gave some abuse to me in the warm-up and some of our boys were laughing even before kick-off.
“But I think it was after our third try and we were about 18-6 up when they came up with the chant.
“I’d had a hand in a couple of tries and was back waiting for the kick-off when they started singing ‘We’re Castleford Tigers, we paid for your hair!’
“Zane Tetevano started laughing and I was laughing at it as well. I turned and gave them some applause – and even gave them a flick of the hair!
“They applauded back. It was great. It’s one of the best chants I’ve ever heard!”
Gale was central to Leeds’ 11-try romp, regularly linking with full-back Richie Myler to cut woeful Castleford open.
He rounded off the win with a try of his own to give Rhinos only their third success of what has been a difficult start to the campaign.
Gale, who lifted the Challenge Cup with Leeds last season, suffered a broken thumb when they lost 18-10 at home to Castleford last month and this was only his third game back.
Beforehand, they had only scored 90 points in their seven league fixtures but cut loose against depleted Tigers who must bounce back in Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington.
Gale, 32, said: “I know Cas have one eye on bigger things this week and they had players missing.
“But, if ever there was a round perfect for us to get some confidence back and get some combinations going again, that was it.
“Rich (Agar) has been saying it and we know we’ve not been on fire. I know I’ve not been great the last few weeks. I’ve probably been trying to do too much and running around all over the shop with not enough quality.
“I just tried to relax on Friday and focus on my game. I am probably my own toughest critic and I’ve probably only had one good game this year so I needed it. The team needed it.
“And it was like last year again; our style of football, with a combination of off-the-cuff stuff, offloads and structured play. It was a perfect opportunity to get going again.”
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