Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Wests Tigers have unfortunately become somewhat of a laughing stock amongst NRL fans in recent years as they have not played finals football in ten seasons and have not finished in the top four in eleven.
During this time they have also finished in the bottom four on five occasions which is more than any other team in the competition other than the Gold Coast Titans who have also finished in the bottom four five times.
Many pundits are not banking on the Tigers to conclude their finals drought in 2022 either, with the club favourites to finish in the bottom four; however, the players and coaching staff don’t seem to be taking any notice of this as from all accounts their preseason has productive and faced minimal interruptions of which Shawn Blore’s unfortunate ACL injury has been the biggest.
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— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) February 7, 2022
Tigers winger David Nofoaluma has given The Daily Telegraph’s Fatima Kdouh a great insight into the club’s preseason and the immense improvement of Luke Brooks ever since Jackson Hastings joined from Wigan.
“Brooksy has been at the club for a long time, he really wants to take control, I have never seen him step up in that way, it’s a good sign for the club and himself,” Nofoaluma said.
“Since Jackson has come, he’s let him know he’s the one in control and Jackson can play his type of footy and he can just play off the back of what Brooksy and the team have in place.”
Hastings will be paired with Brooks at least until star five-eighth Adam Doueihi returns from injury a few weeks into the 2022 NRL season.
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— NRL (@NRL) February 7, 2022
As a result of Doueihi’s amazing form at five-eighth in 2021 and the Tigers’ investment in Hastings, Brooks will need to be fit and firing once the NRL season commences to be a chance at holding down a starting spot in the halves.
For now, the former Dally M Halfback of the Year is excelling alongside Hastings and is doing all he can to hold down a starting spot at the Tigers, with the club having a strong preseason.
The Tigers will play in their first of two trial matches against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles on Friday the 18th of February.