Brooks knows he must hook in to stay clear of Tigers No.9 jersey
Author Tanisha Stanton Timestamp Tue 20 Mar 2018, 06:55 PM
With star recruit Josh Reynolds close to returning from a hamstring injury and Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary known for caring little for reputations, Luke Brooks knows he and Benji Marshall need to keep performing.
Cleary will have a tough decision on his hands when Reynolds is cleared to make his comeback. After Marshall and Brooks played starring roles in the first two rounds they should feel relatively safe but three into two doesn’t go and one of the trio could end up playing hooker or on the bench.
As shown by his decision to overlook David Nofoaluma in round one, Cleary has made it very clear that positions in his side aren’t guaranteed.
“I haven’t heard anything yet, I don’t really want to play No.9 to be honest,” Brooks said.
"Josh (Reynolds) is definitely a big part of our side so he’ll be in there somewhere.
“We’ve got a lot of depth all around the park so it’s a good thing to have for Ivan.”
The Tigers have scored just two tries in their opening two clashes and despite winning, the side’s attack has come under scrutiny.
Marshall was confident with more time more points will be scored and said defeating two title contenders in the past fortnight has given the side enough belief in all facets of the game.
“Attack wise I think we haven’t hit where we want to be but if anything we’re building trust especially defensively and getting to know each other,” Marshall said.
"We’re forming bonds on the field for when it comes down to it we can defend repeat sets and back each other up with back to back efforts.
"We’ll find out but what you’ve got to remember is that the two teams we’ve played in the first two rounds have been premiership favourites for a reason because their defensive systems are two of the best in the competition. You don’t see too many teams putting 20-30 on Melbourne anyway.
“In a couple of weeks time when we start forming combinations and those bonds it will give us some time to gel as a team we’ll find out what we’re good at attack wise.”
The Tigers face a 2017 top-four side for the third week running when they tackle the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night at Campbelltown Stadium. Kevin Naiqama said the clash will be a test for the side and their preparation has solely been on building their own game.
"Two tough games against two quality teams in the Roosters and the Storm but in saying that we aren’t getting too ahead of ourselves as it still early stages but we can take a lot of confidence out of that,” Naiqama said.
"Looking forward to another tough match in the Broncos. They got a lot of confidence out of that win over the Cowboys and I’m sure they’ll be coming down here to try and get two points as well.
"We will definitely be tested as they have quality playmakers in [Kodi] Nikorima, [Anthony] Milford and also [Darius] Boyd so I’m sure they’ll be testing our edges and our middles.
"We have been focusing on what we can control, practising our structures.
"We don’t want to focus too much on them, we’re confident in what the coaches have put in place to get the job done.”