Luke Brooks

Quiet achiever’ Luke Brooks would handle NSW halfback call-up, says Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire

WRITTEN BY
TROY WHITTAKER
@troywhittaker98

Luke Brooks
WESTS TIGERS

Luke Brooks may be the reigning Dally M Halfback of the Year but the Wests Tigers playmaker has almost been forgotten in the debate about who should wear the NSW number seven.
While incumbent Nathan Cleary, Adam Reynolds, Luke Keary, Mitch Moses, Chad Townsend and Mitch Pearce have all received strong support for the job, Brooks has somewhat flown under the radar.
But the 24-year-old’s form this season has not been overlooked by Tigers coach Michael Maguire, who is backing Brooks to make the leap to rep football.
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Brooks, who is ranked fifth for try assists with seven and leads the NRL for line engagements, has played a key part in the Tigers’ five wins in 2019.

He was outstanding in their 30-4 victory over the Panthers last round, laying on two tries and claiming one of his own to set the tone in the opening exchanges.
“He’s the quiet achiever, I reckon, of what’s going on in the competition,” Maguire said.
"I think there’s a lot of good things happening in Brooksy’s game which is going to lift him to higher levels.
“He’s been doing that week in, week out, and I’ll keep it at that because I’ll let his actions do the talking - and that’s what he wants as well.”
Asked if Brooks would handle the pressure that comes with State of Origin selection, Maguire had no doubts.
“Definitely,” he answered.

Before arriving at the Tigers, Maguire coached terrific halfbacks like Reynolds, Cooper Cronk, Thomas Leuluai and Brett Finch during his career in the NRL and Super League.
The premiership-winning former Rabbitohs and Wigan mentor believes Brooks is well on his way to cementing himself among them as an elite player in his position.​
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a few halves along my time,” Maguire said.
"And I think there’s areas of his game that he’s still working hard at which can propel him into those sort of games [Origin].
"But the only way you do that is by getting out this weekend and doing it again.
“I’m sure in time it’ll happen. If he keeps working the way he is, him wanting to grow his game, there are no reasons why he can’t put himself into that space.”
Brooks faces a thorough examination of his NSW credentials on Thursday versus the third-placed Melbourne Storm, who are coming off a 64-10 romp against Parramatta.
The Tigers upset Melbourne twice last season and Maguire is optimistic his side can trump the odds again.
“One thing I do know is everyone is beatable at some stage,” he said.
“If we go down and perform at our best, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Maguire also revealed that hardworking back-rower Chris Lawrence is only a matter of weeks away from returning to action.

I don’t think he is anywhere near Origin myself but Maguire is right there are a lot in his game that has improved and a lot that needs improving…Reynolds, Townsend and Pearce would be ahead…Keary’s a 5/8th but Brooks is on the next rung down…

Ranked 1 in line engagements and 5th in TA’s…he is certainly playing better than the current NSW no.7…even in the loses…

Don’t think Maguire is keen on shopping him around…

Keep fluken it Luke…

It’s genuinely astonishing to me that so many people continue to believe Brooks not only isn’t a top-class half but actually to think he’s not first-grade standard. NRL stats are pretty hopeless but this is the second year running that Brooks is offering a really top-line across the board set of numbers.

Line engagements: 1st (followed by Cook, Milford, Maloney, Pearce)
Try assists: 5th (behind Keary, Cook, Morgan, Moses)
Kick metres: 9th (behind Milford, Reynolds, Pearce, Hunt, Morgan, Moses, Lewis, Cronk)
Missed tackles: 21st (middle of the pack for a starting half)
Handling errors: outside top 50, cut off is 6 (I mention this because Keary and Tedesco are top with 14, Wighton has 12, Moses 9, Milford 7, DCE 6
Player in support: 6th (behind Keary, Townsend, Gordon, Croft, Gutherson - Mbye is 7th FWIW)

he’s the next ANDREW JOHNS people!

I’m of the firm belief we should have focused on keeping Moses but nothing we could really do there i guess.

last edited by trentrunciman

@trentrunciman said in Luke Brooks:

he’s the next ANDREW JOHNS people!

I’m of the firm belief we should have focused on keeping Moses but nothing we could really do there i guess.

Hope not!

If I was out there defending my line in the 78th minute, I’d want Brooks beside me. I’d want Moses in the grandstand selling coffee.

last edited by Tiger_Steve

@trentrunciman said in Luke Brooks:

he’s the next ANDREW JOHNS people!

I’m of the firm belief we should have focused on keeping Moses but nothing we could really do there i guess.

Your second sentence could not be any more wrong. They did focus on Moses, for 12 months.

@2041
Doing my best not to take the bait. Really am. I just don’t take those amazing stats at face value.

What exactly is it about those stats that indicate that he is Top Line?

Line engagements: for his 71 engagements (top in NRL) he has only broken the line once (!!!) with only 3 line break assists (!!!) (and by the way, 2 of those were vs Penrith last week). Poor! Absolutely poor! I actually think his running game is good, but if anything, this stat just highlights how non-penetrating he is as a halfback!
Try Assists: He is 5th. Not bad I’ll give him that! But 2 were last week and 2 previous aren’t even worthy of mention. I’ve referred to them in other threads.
Kick Metres: Yes, he kicks far but his long kicking game has never developed. He just basically hands over possession. He can’t put up a spiral, rarely finds grass, doesn’t kick 40/20’s. This stat is about as valuable as minutes played - he probably has lots of those too.
Missed tackles: 21st. Crikey. I suppose that’s an improvement (?). Aren’t you’re trying to demonstrate that he is top class, not middle of the pack? What was the point of even referencing this stat?
Handling errors: So, because he hasn’t dropped the ball we should think he is top-class? Talk about a low bar!
Player in support: What is this stat? how much he backs up when others make a break? I don’t get this one…

Lots of these stats just seems like clutching at straws to me… why bother?

@GNR4LIFE ok mate. if it makes you sleep better at night brother

@trentrunciman said in Luke Brooks:

@GNR4LIFE ok mate. if it makes you sleep better at night brother

we did focus on keeping Moses. Just like we focused on keeping Brooks, Woods and Tedesco. Just because he left doesn’t mean we didn’t focus on trying to keep him.

@avocadoontoast that’s why i said “nothing we could do there”

saw Mitchell at St George hospital when we visited his grandad. Mitchell’s old man is a big eels supporter. He wanted to head there for a little while.

@Tiger_Steve said in Luke Brooks:

@trentrunciman said in Luke Brooks:

he’s the next ANDREW JOHNS people!

I’m of the firm belief we should have focused on keeping Moses but nothing we could really do there i guess.

Hope not!

If I was out there defending my line in the 78th minute, I’d want Brooks beside me. I’d want Moses in the grandstand selling coffee.

moses wont be selling coffe… he will be in the toilets handing people towels to wash their hands

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