Tigers halfback Luke Brooks refused to say he wanted to stay at the struggling club after playing the game of his life in the 66-18 Cowboys thrashing
- Brooks isn’t sure if he wants to stay with the Tigers
- Halfback starred in his 200th NRL game
- Brooks connected on three tries against the Cowboys
Luke Brooks admits he is unsure if he wants to stay at Wests Tigers, remaining non-committal over his future hours after his best night for the NRL club.
Brooks starred in his 200th NRL game on Saturday, as the Tigers piled up the biggest score in the combined 207-season history of Western Suburbs, Balmain and the joint-venture.
Often reviled by fans, Brooks couldn’t hide his smile as his name was chanted around Leichhardt Oval after the Tigers’ 66-18 win over North Queensland.
Attention is now set on his future, after coach Tim Sheens revealed the Tigers would spend the bye week making an offer for the 28-year-old to stay next year.
Asked directly if he wanted to stay with the Tigers, Brooks didn’t offer a firm answer.
Luke Brooks admits he’s not sure if he wants to stay at the Wests Tigers after just his best performance for the struggling NRL club
Brooks starred in his 200th NRL game on Saturday against the Cowboys as the Tigers piled up the biggest score in the club’s history
‘Honestly, I don’t know,’ Brooks said.
‘Whatever happens, it happens. If I stay here, it would be nice; if it doesn’t happen, so be it.’
The Tigers halfback has so far made it a point to stay out of negotiations and leave them to his management, saying he will only enter them if his manager brings him an offer.
But he remains realistic that the romanticization of ending up as a club player may not be realistic.
‘It’s good to know you’re wanted. I’m happy to be out of it, and I’ll let my manager and the club sort it out,’ said Brooks.
‘It always helps to have a coach supporting you.
‘It doesn’t happen often (to become a club player), but anything can happen.’
If Brooks stays, Tigers fans will be hoping Saturday night represents a new dawn for him and the club.
Fans chanted Brooks’ name as he helped the Tigers tear apart the Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night
Brooks has so far made a point to stay out of negotiations and leave them up to his manager.
The playmaker had a hand in three tries, but it was the way he was happy to run the ball and show a willingness to kick early that was most pleasing.
His form has coincided with the Tigers winning three of their last four games, with Brooks stepping up and controlling Adam Doueihi for the year.
‘I think it’s been confidence the last few weeks (that’s been the difference), and I feel like I’ve come out on the field with nothing to worry about,’ Brooks said.
‘I keep it simple, and that’s where I play my best footy.
‘When our forward pack steps forward, and they have all year, it opens up opportunities for me.’
Brooks was one of many stars for the Tigers on Saturday night, with Jahream Bula, Apisai Koroisau and John Bateman all impressing.
Brooks’ good form has coincided with the Tigers winning three of their last four games
Brooks also compared center Starford To’a to Greg Inglis for the way he dominated Valentine Holmes and scored a brace in the win.
But the most satisfying aspect for the Tigers was still the milestone night for Brooks, who has long been a punching bag for fans.
‘It’s a part of the game, I’m not the only person holding it back,’ Brooks said.
‘People are spraying Cameron Smith, and he’s the best player, so everyone is controlling it. You can’t please everyone. This is part of it.’