Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Wests Tigers are set to miss the NRL finals for the 10th straight season and many people are pointing the finger at the club’s halfback Luke Brooks.
In 2013, Brooks made his NRL debut as an 18-year-old prodigy that received a lot of hype and pressure following his impressive debut and would go on to become the Tigers’ first string halfback and eventually be named the Dally M Halfback of the Year in 2018.
However, there came a point where fans became well and truly fed up with the Tigers’ results and the blame game began, with Brooks being on the front end of some serious heat ever since, but the 26-year-old is having one of his better seasons in the NRL and the numbers don’t lie. From the 21 games this season Brooks has his second-best season kicking the ball with an average of 295.94 kicking metres per game, has had his joint best season in terms of try assists with 16 so far and averaged 100 running metres per game, his second-best season in that area of the game.
Now, this isn’t to necessarily say he has been great either and maybe the incoming Jackson Hastings will prove a better fit for the Tigers going forward, but fans must acknowledge that there are much deeper issues at this football club than the form of just one player.
‘I think he’s stale’
Tigers legend urges Luke Brooks to ‘move on’ and find a new #NRL club
👉 https://t.co/s93V95qoOe pic.twitter.com/kXPxPNrvwd
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) August 16, 2021
A big issue that the Tigers, like many lower table clubs, suffer from is a lack of consistency.
It’s not that the talent isn’t there, but that the club isn’t getting the best out of the 17 players who take the field each week.
On numerous occasions in recent years the Tigers have either come close to or have beaten competition heavyweights and looked like a serious finals threat, before being beaten easily by a mid to bottom of the ladder side the next week because, as a whole, the club has gotten complacent and not displayed the same effort that they did the week before.
A perfect example of this occurred earlier this season when the Wests Tigers came very close to beating an in form and at the time, a premiership contender in the Parramatta Eels on Easter Monday in front of over 29,000 fans at ANZ Stadium, before going on to be down 22 points at halftime and eventually lose to a North Queensland Cowboys side that had not won a game to that point the very next week.
Luke Brooks alone can’t play that bad for this to be a recurring issue.
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