Brooks tore the Panthers to pieces on Friday. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.
Brooks tore the Panthers to pieces on Friday. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.

Brooks hitting peak of his powers

WESTS Tigers star Luke Brooks is on the cusp of entering his NRL prime, according to coach Michael Maguire.

And the 24-year-old halfback will have no better stage to bust out than when the Tigers face Melbourne and South Sydney over a crucial next fortnight.

Brooks was arguably the Tigers' best in last week's 30-4 ambush of Penrith, setting up two tries and scoring one himself in another impressive outing.

In his fifth full season, he is fourth in the league for try assists, while he also engages defensive lines more than any other player in the competition (71).

Despite his strong form, Brooks has barely rated a mention in the race for NSW State of Origin jumpers amid contenders including Luke Keary, Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds and incumbent Nathan Cleary.

"I see he's the quiet achiever, I reckon, of what's going on in the competition," Maguire said on Tuesday.

"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."

Brooks is the reigning Dally M halfback of the year. Image: Phil Hillyard
Brooks is the reigning Dally M halfback of the year. Image: Phil Hillyard

Reigning Dally M halfback of the year Brooks will get a chance to push his Origin claims when he meets Queensland star Cameron Munster in Thursday night's clash against Melbourne.

Munster is among the hottest players in the competition, and is set to be the Maroons' chief playmaker in this year's Origin series.

 

A week later Brooks goes head-to-head with form Rabbitohs duo Walker and Reynolds, the latter of whom reached Origin honours under Maguire. Maguire said Brooks was "definitely" up to the challenge.

"I've been fortunate enough to work with a few halves along my time," he 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.

"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, (with) him wanting to grow his game, there's no reasons why he can't put himself into that space."

A win for the Tigers against the Storm could lift them into fifth spot, which would be their highest position this deep into a season in seven years.

News Corp Australia


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