No present NRL participant is criticised greater than Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks.
The 28-year-old has borne the brunt of the membership’s failures over the past decade and in consequence has seemingly developed a really thick pores and skin, conceding: “I’m sort of used to it now.”
But his halves companion Adam Doueihi can see by means of the powerful entrance and revealed it “does have an effect on him.”
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Brooks has 189 NRL video games to his identify and a Dally M Halfback of the Year trophy in addition. But he additionally carries the undesirable file of most video games performed and not using a finals look — a stat he’s usually reminded of.
Criticism has constantly been thrown in his course over the previous couple of years, nevertheless it reached boiling level within the opening months of final season.
He was focused after the Tigers misplaced their first 5 video games of the 12 months — their worst begin in membership historical past. The barrage of criticism compelled chairman Lee Hagipantelis to leap to his defence, calling it “excessive” in addition to “unwarranted and unhealthy.”
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Brooks additionally fired again at his critics on the time with: “A lot of people have never done anything in the game, so I couldn’t care less what they say about me.”
And he backed it up the very subsequent sport, organising two tries within the Tigers’ first win of the season — a one-point upset over eventual grand finalists, the Eels.
Hastings took the chance to place an arm round his teammate, urging the media and followers to “get off his back for a week,” earlier than declaring “what a performance,” in a post-game interview.
But because the Tigers started to fall again into previous habits, Brooks was as soon as once more the centre of consideration.
And but after all of the jabs he’s copped through the years, Brooks remained measured when requested by foxsports.com.au concerning the criticism and stress that comes with taking part in halfback for the Tigers.
“I guess it’s a part of it,” he shrugged
“When you’re going good you get all the raps so it goes hand-in-hand.
“I’m sort of used to it now, but as long as my teammates and the staff are happy with me then that’s all that matters.
“I try to stay away from it (the negativity)… Sometimes it can be hard though because it’s everywhere and people ask you about it but as much as I can, I try not to read into it.
“I learnt that a long time ago.”
However Doueihi has a harder time with it as a result of he believes the focused criticism really does take its toll on Brooks.
“Obviously it hurts seeing him (cop criticism) because I see the work that he does in the pre-season and during the season,” he informed foxsports.com.au.
“It does have an effect on him — I can see that.
“He’s had a really good pre-season this year, it’s been more enjoyable for myself and him. We have a clear picture of how we want to play, there’s a style of footy this year that suits both our games and we’ve enjoyed that.
“Hopefully we can start the season good and have some positive media reports about him and about the club for a change.
“Winning stops all negative media reports so the more we can win the better it is for everyone.”
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Brooks has all the time had the eye of media. In truth, there have been already tales being written about him earlier than he had made his NRL debut — that’s how highly-regarded he was as a child.
He was a Tigers junior that performed Australian Schoolboys and took the membership’s SG Ball workforce to a premiership.
He was additionally dubbed the following Andrew Johns.
Brooks obtained his debut as a fresh-faced 18-year-old in 2013 and lived as much as expectations, scoring a attempt to organising two extra to earn man of the match honours.
But all that hype and a focus was precisely what he didn’t need.
“When I came in (to first grade), I hadn’t even played a game and I was getting raps — I hated that,” Brooks mentioned.
“I just didn’t know how to take it, I would rather just be quiet and out of the media. But I guess whether it’s good or bad I just try not to read it.
“Even when my when dad would watch an NRL show and my name popped up, I’d just go awkward. I hated being at home when he was watching the NRL shows.
“Just from a young age I’ve felt uncomfortable with it.”
Unfortunately for Brooks he’s set for one more season within the headlines whether or not the Tigers go properly or not as a result of he’s coming off contract.
His contract scenario considerably slipped beneath the radar over the low season — a reduction for him given this time final 12 months it was reported each day that he had signed with the Knights.
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“To be honest I haven’t really thought about it too much,” Brooks mentioned when requested about his subsequent contract.
“It’s kind of been good, the past few years there’s always been stuff about me going or staying so it’s been good to have a pre-season where there hasn’t been any chat.
“I’ve been able to focus on footy and that’s all I can do. When that comes up it’ll come up but at the moment I’m just focused on playing footy.”
Brooks confirmed that “there’s been talks” with the membership a couple of potential new deal however he’s in no rush, including: “we’ll worry about it when it comes.”
Should the Tigers re-sign Brooks, it’s anticipated it’ll be on lower than the reported $1.1 million he stands to earn this season.
But he can show his price by steering the membership to their first finals look since 2011 — and may use the assistance of the a number of big-name recruits, together with three-time premiership-winning hooker Api Koroisau to try this.
“You can already tell the difference he makes,” Brooks mentioned of Koroisau.
“What he does around the ruck helps me so much, it’ll take a lot of pressure off me because other teams’ defence will be focused on him and what he’s doing around the ruck.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with ‘Ice’ (Isaiah Papali’i), I think he’s someone that will suit my game,” he added.
“He’s a good hole-running back-rower, but also in defence he’s a good quality player and you can really see that when we’re out on the field training.”
Source web site: www.foxsports.com.au