Brooks given keys to Tigers' NRL kingdom

Halfback Luke Brooks says he’s been given licence to run the Wests Tigers as his team during the 2018 NRL season.

The “big four” are no more and now Luke Brooks has been given the keys to the kingdom at Concord.
After a tumultuous 2017 which culminated in the departures of captain Aaron Woods (Canterbury), fullback James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters) and half Mitchell Moses (Parramatta) for greener pastures, the Wests Tigers promise to be a different side this NRL season.

And Brooks says the Tigers will very much be moulded in his image and they’re now his side to run.

Ex-Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds has been brought in to be his foil while veteran Benji Marshall will be his back up.
However, Brooks says it will be up to him to call the shots.
“That’s what (coach Ivan Cleary) wants; he wants me to take control of the side,” Brooks said.
“And Josh has said the same, he wants me to have control as a halfback and I can lead the team and he can play off the back of that.”

Cleary’s directive to take the wheel is music to the ears of the No.7, who has had to share control with the likes of Moses and Tedesco over his first five years of first grade.

Rewind 12 months and the Tigers’ Concord headquarters were a lot less settled than what they are today.

Speculation about the future of the so-called “big four” and then coach Jason Taylor fractured the joint-venture club last year.

Brooks said that it had shown on the field and they felt like they could finally get down to business.

“It’s a lot easier to be honest,” Brooks said.

"There hasn’t been stuff in the papers and if there has been, it’s all good stuff.

“That really affected us last year. This year we’ve been able to focus on training.”

I hope he takes this opportunity to be the halfback everyone said he would be and the hype comes to fruition…for his sake,because he still can have a bright future in rugby league…
good luck Luke “the ball is in your court”…

Keys to the kingdom or
Keys to the Bus ?
He is hardly old enough to drive a car let alone the Bus
I hope he becomes a great bus driver
How good would it be for Luke to succeed this year with the 3 musketeers gone
Not only for the club but for himself
He just needs guidance from Ivan and some self belief
Go for it Luke
This is your chance

I saw the interview on fox. He still doesn’t look confident or sure of himself.

Well the first 6 rounds will be interesting to say the least.

The bit that worries me is this: “That’s what (coach Ivan Cleary) wants; he wants me to take control of the side,” Brooks said."

He isn’t taking ownership.

If it were me, I’d be saying it differently. E.G. It’s my side now and coach Cleary backs me all the way etc.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Heres hoping.

Only one way to find out Brooksy, walk that walk brother

Wish him all the best its a brutal start to this season


Only one way to find out Brooksy, walk that walk brother

Exactly. Talk is easy.

When we look back 12 months everyone mentions the big four, then Taylor. Simona and RF don’t even rate a mention, that’s how bad things were.

I normally enjoy the fluff pieces, but I’ve heard enough about Brooks. Start this week, son. It has to be this year or it is never.

His definitely improving his media skills.
I thought he sounded clearer and more direct than I’ve heard in the past.
I also think the way he addresses things is just not in his personality.
All we need is for him to be confident in game.

Watching back the majority of games both early season and late, Brooks was actually developing into a good half. I see him in the same mould as a Blake Green. At this stage his achilles heal is his short kicking game, but that was improving as the season wore on.
The amount of control bestowed on Brooks in year 2016 was much different to 2017. Then when our 5/8 changed to Tui as oppose to Moses Brooks began to play even more on the ball.
His passing is very sharp but his decision making when passing at the line was off and that’s the biggest thing he needs to work on.
In the second half of the season Brooks was taking the ball to the line a lot more, in set plays and in individual rushes.
If the plan is for Brooks to be kicking the team around the park he doesn’t need to be that one trying to put the second rowers through holes. It’s impossible for any backrower to punch holes in the line without movement going on around the play. Those plays with Lawrence last year were very one dimensional but what we were lacking in that formation was the way Simona would run angles into the play.
I expect Reynolds and LoLo to be our play creaters at least popping up on both sides of the field and I think Brooks will benefit mostly from that, as he gets more confidence in his game his natural attacking instincts will come out.
I honestly believe this kid has it he just needed the support.
Ivan has done a good job of building him up and the team support around him so I’m excited.

Brooks ready to blood new Tigers halves combination
Author Alicia Newton Timestamp Tue 13 Feb 2018, 08:00 PM

Wests Tigers halves pairing Luke Brooks and Josh Reynolds will have their first opportunity to build on their pre-season combination after being named in the club’s opening trial game against North Queensland Cowboys in Cairns on Saturday.

Brooks is expecting to play plenty of minutes alongside Reynolds as the side attempts to work nine new recruits into a game situation.

Experienced playmaker Benji Marshall was not named in the 30-man squad but is expected to play in the club’s final trial against the Cronulla Sharks at Campbelltown Stadium on February 24.

“It’s going to be important for us because we’re going to have a lot of new players,” Brooks said on Tuesday.

“Hopefully I’ll get a few minutes under my belt and work on that combo with Josh. Usually in the first trial you play 50 or 60 minutes. The last trial I’ll play a bit more.”

Brooks is set to unveil a new approach to controlling the side after Cleary has given the 23-year-old a more dominant role during the pre-season.

“Ivan wanted to change [and have me playing on both sides],” Brooks said.

“It benefitted my game, not being stuck on one side. Nowadays it’s halves either side but we wanted to go a more traditional way. I’m a halfback and Josh Reynolds is a five-eighth. That’s going to help us.”

The joint venture club takes on a Cowboys outfit who will welcome the return of Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott from injuries that cut short their 2017 campaigns.

With a difficult start to the Telstra Premiership season ahead, Brooks said facing the Cowboys presented a great opportunity to prepare for clashes against Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos and Parramatta Eels over the opening month of the season proper.

“They [the Cowboys] had a great end to the season without JT. It will be his first game back. I’m not too sure what to expect,” Brooks said.

The squad will depart for a three-day camp in Cairns on Wednesday before taking on the Cowboys at Barlow Park in a match scheduled to kick off at 7.30pm local time.

Cleary has sent a clear message to the playing group ahead of the trial, indicating no position was guaranteed.

“The reality of the first trial is that it’s a great chance for all the players to get out there and get their first run of the new year,” Cleary said. "We’re trying to mix it up and make sure that everyone gets a decent amount of game time under their belt this week.

"It’s no secret that there’s a few positions that are probably up for grabs, so it’s a good chance for the players to put their best foot forward in regards to that.

“These trials are going to have a fair say in what that round one team looks like.”

From an outsiders perspective it does still look like Brooks isn’t fully confident of leading from the front and taking charge, perhaps that is just his personality of not being a cocky, in-your-face knob like many youngsters in the NRL.
Really hope he stands up to be counted this season, the pressure on him will be enormous if we start 1 and 5 or 0 from 6 to start the season as expected, regardless of how well Luke plays the guns will be pointing in his direction it seems.
Carn Brooksy, tear it up son!

Looking back at last season he gad all kinds of disruptuons in the 1st half of the season - multiple injuries, 3 coaches in 6 weeks, different halves partners, contract talk for both him and the others arpund him including in his own house. Despite all this from the Newcastle game onwards i thought he played the best run of footy in his career. If you look at the figures he ran more tackled more made more breaks, set up more tries and line breaks in thay period then he has in any other in his career. I think he will have his real breakout year in 2018

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