Luke Brooks hungry to make his finals debut and end Wests Tigers playoff drought



  • Luke Brooks has never played in a finals match and the Tigers are in the midst of the longest playoff drought in the NRL - but that could all be about to change.
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    August 7, 2019 12:42pm

    For the past seven years, the playmaker has arrived at the Wests Tigers’ Concord headquarters on the first day of the NRL pre-season full of optimism. But as each winter turned into spring, he found his ambitions to play on the big stage quashed.

    The joint venture is in the midst of the league’s longest finals drought, having not made the top eight since 2011.

    The fact is a harsh reminder for the Tigers’ administration, staff and players, given 14 of the 16 clubs have all played finals over the previous three seasons. Newcastle, the only other side to miss out in that time, fell one game short of the grand final in 2013.

    Brooks, 24, debuted in 2013 and, as a local junior, he admits it bothers him that he hasn’t been able to get his side to the post-season. “As a player and as a team when you want to win grand finals and the only way to do that is to be in the top eight at the end of the year,” Brooks said. “I watch a bit of it - it does burn you that you’re not there. That’s definitely a driving force for us.” They have gone close on several occasions, finishing ninth in 2016 and last year.

    Three years ago, they went into the final round with a golden chance to win through, only to be thumped 52-10 by Canberra at their spiritual home of Leichhardt.

    Since the Tigers last made the finals, they have churned through four coaches - Tim Sheens, Michael Potter, Jason Taylor and Ivan Cleary.

    Asked if it was a fair reflection of where the club had been at for the past eight years, Brooks said: “I think so. Over the past couple of years, we’ve lost games where we should have won.

    “We’ve been in front and then we’d lose towards the end. At the end of the year, those games will cost you.

    “It’s a different year this year.” Only three Tigers players remain from their last finals appearance in Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence.

    Lawrence, 30, was a fresh-faced 22-year-old playing centre when the Tigers played the Warriors in the second week of the 2011 finals.

    “It’s frustrating,” Lawrence said.

    “Your number one goal on the first day of pre-season is you want to be there at the back end of the season. That’s why you play every year. You dream of playing in those big games in September.

    “A lot of those years we haven’t been close, but there’s been a few where we probably should have found our way into the finals and that’s the frustrating thing.”



  • Well what are you going to do about it?

    • hold your nerve
    • play tough
    • compete and complete
    • Get into winning positions
    • close out the games
    • want it more
      Surely desire + skill + attitude + Madge will get us there this year


  • @Tiger_Steve said in Luke Brooks hungry to make his finals debut and end Wests Tigers playoff drought:

    Well what are you going to do about it?

    • hold your nerve
    • play tough
    • compete and complete
    • Get into winning positions
    • close out the games
    • want it more
      Surely desire + skill + attitude + Madge will get us there this year

    A lot of people r saying we win by 1

    so also

    • Slot that field goal


  • As soon as we start talking about finals and our aspirations we start losing games. Hate to be a pessimist but it just happens every time.



  • Well guys if you actually want to make the finals for once start by winning the games you should win for a change - it starts this weekend with Canterbury. If you want to be finals contenders then you simply must beat the team running second last! Your fate is all in your own hands, no excuses.



  • Only 17 blokes can do anything Rowdy and Luke , if you don’t make it have a look in the mirror …you’ll see the problem



  • we’ve been at this point a number of times, where the ball is in our court…hopefully things will be different this year and we beat the teams we should beat based on their position on the ladder like the Dogs and Dragons and beat at least the Sharks and Knights. I think we could only afford to drop one game based on the ladder predictor…prefer to win the lot though 🙂

    Shame the Sharks seem to be hitting some form though



  • Well Luke step it up and take it ! Another yawn feast …



  • At least Brooks isn’t offering excuses or pointing fingers.

    Unlike Tedesco, needs to join a top-tier money club to make things happen.



  • @Snake said in Luke Brooks hungry to make his finals debut and end Wests Tigers playoff drought:

    Well Luke step it up and take it ! Another yawn feast …

    Id have thought that’s he’s been doing the last couple of weeks.



  • Brooks has played 126 games without a finals appearance. If we miss the finals this year, by the end of 2020 he’ll be getting pretty close to the record for most finals-less appearances. It won’t be much more than 170: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/sharks-veteran-paulo-ready-to-discard-unwanted-finals-record-20180725-p4ztm2.html



  • Mark O’Neill played 223 games in his career. He played his first finals game in game 220.



  • @Juro said in Luke Brooks hungry to make his finals debut and end Wests Tigers playoff drought:

    Mark O’Neill played 223 games in his career. He played his first finals game in game 220.

    I still get goosebumps watching him score against the broncos in the semi



  • As an old Maggies fan, we had a few get up there. Cameron Blair had 183 without a semi. Alan Fallah was pretty high. Trevor Cogger played his first semi in his 161st game, which was also his last.



  • @OzLuke said in Luke Brooks hungry to make his finals debut and end Wests Tigers playoff drought:

    @Juro said in Luke Brooks hungry to make his finals debut and end Wests Tigers playoff drought:

    Mark O’Neill played 223 games in his career. He played his first finals game in game 220.

    I still get goosebumps watching him score against the broncos in the semi

    Oh yeah, what a moment! I forgot his last game was the GF and I still think he should have been captain.


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