Brooks becomes the running man



  • Brooks becomes the running man

    Fri 11 Aug, 2017, 2:00pm
    By Martin Gabor, National Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

    Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks says he’s 100 per cent over the hamstring injury that has plagued him in recent times and it’s showing on the field with the talented playmaker on track to have his best season in terms of metres gained.

    ‌Running the ball hasn’t always been a priority for the 22-year-old, but with new coach Ivan Cleary now at the helm, Brooks has been encouraged to take the line on more often and back himself against tiring defences.

    In his first three full seasons in the NRL, Brooks averaged 51.8, 58 and 52.1 metres per game but he’s set to obliterate those figures with the No.7 averaging 78 metres per game in 2017, including a career-high 177 against the Knights in Round 17.

    Playing on both sides of the field as opposed to being pigeonholed on the left edge has given him more freedom to run the ball, as has the mid-season arrival of Tui Lolohea.

    “I think when I was younger my strong suit was my running game,” Brooks told NRL.com.

    "I sort of went away from that over the last few years but now that I’m playing all over the field and not just the left side, that’s opened up my running game and helped my game as a whole.

    "I was probably more focussed on trying to set other people up when I would have been more of a threat if I’d run the ball myself. That’s something I’ve been focussing on this season and Ivan’s helped me and wants me to take the line on so that’s what we’ve been doing.

    "With the way we’re playing now, it’s freed me up as a traditional first-receiver with Tui floating out the back. That allows me to roam on both sides of the field and lets me get my hands on the ball more than what I have been when I’m stuck on the left.

    “I feel like our combination is growing each week and he’s a great player. He’s really starting to take the line on which shows he’s more comfortable in his surroundings, and when he does that, he’s very damaging.”



  • He’s definitely better when he runs. I think this is an unpopular opinion, but he’s looking pretty good in attack when he stays involved. He just goes missing too often. Surely Ivan must be continually hammering him to touch the ball more, especially when we get within 30.



  • Shame he can’t kick .



  • He bluffed me for 80 odd games. First,it was “he’ll be better without Farah” then it was “without Moses he’ll own the team”. I’m not asking for brilliance,but this kid is flat out giving us competent. Hell never be an elite player,he wouldn’t be an NRL 7 at any other Club



  • I think he is improving. Anyone remember this time last year? Everyone singing Moses’ praises and wanting Brooks punted. Sure, his short kicking game is not even average but I think that can taught. His running game and defence have improved dramatically and his long kicking game is acceptable.

    I think losing Moses is the best thing that’s happened to him. Give him another 12 months and lets see where he is. He is starting to own the team. I think Moses was such a dominant personality that Luke was always going to take some time to feel comfortable in that role.



  • Run Brooks Run.



  • the resemblance is uncanny



  • That movie was my first thought too



  • Would Brooks be a better number 6 long term, if we could buy another halfback? He is legitimately quick.



  • No!

    When was the last time you saw Brooks set up an edge play, never.
    Brooks is an out an out half back.
    Most halfbacks don’t have a running game.
    This is an added string.
    Ivan is clearly getting him to play to his strengths and I’m really liking that it’s been identified and mentioned that Brooks plays both sides of the field.
    It’s a long process but at the moment he is pressured by teams when his in a position to put a kick in and is getting no time at all mostly on the last.
    At the moment teams don’t see Brooks as a threat. With him continually running it will start to put defences in two minds and then give him more space. Brooks belongs in the middle of the field around the ruck at first receiver or hooker he will not flourish anywhere else.
    With Reynolds next year he will have a genuine running half to complement. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Reynolds is told to play both sides of the field.



  • @:

    No!

    When was the last time you saw Brooks set up an edge play, never.
    Brooks is an out an out half back.
    Most halfbacks don’t have a running game.
    This is an added string.
    Ivan is clearly getting him to play to his strengths and I’m really liking that it’s been identified and mentioned that Brooks plays both sides of the field.
    It’s a long process but at the moment he is pressured by teams when his in a position to put a kick in and is getting no time at all mostly on the last.
    At the moment teams don’t see Brooks as a threat. With him continually running it will start to put defences in two minds and then give him more space. Brooks belongs in the middle of the field around the ruck at first receiver or hooker he will not flourish anywhere else.
    With Reynolds next year he will have a genuine running half to complement. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Reynolds is told to play both sides of the field.

    x2…

    yes hes not a 5/8. He is a halfback. He has positives and negatives. Positives is his commitment, long kicking game and running game. His negatives are game management, short kicking game and confidence.

    Honestly I feel that its confidence more than anything. Hes a introvert that d nds it hard to be a leader which i understand. If he simplifies his game to game management and kicking ie cronk wel be a contender next year.



  • Want him to be the MAN that can shut a game down.
    Is that too much to ask ?



  • I just want to lead by ten and know this game is done. Hpw many times over the years other than a few good years have we be leading easily and think this game will be close? sick of it.



  • @:

    Shame he can’t kick .

    Yeah it would be nice wouldn’t it.


  • Banned

    I remember Robbie Farahs kicking attempts on the 5th.
    Even those were better than Brooks and they were also terrible.
    Benji brings back great memories of kicking to the corners for a repeat set. Next year Reynolds surely takes over so we’ll be good.


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