Luke Brooks will play his first game of the 2016 season on Monday night and his match-up with opposing halfback Daly Cherry-Evans makes for a blockbuster clash at Leichhardt Oval.
Both players had considerably strong individual campaigns last year, despite their respective sides failing to a make the NRL finals series.
Brooks scored a whopping 10 tries and set-up another 16 for his teammates, while ‘DCE’ crossed four times but also tallied up 18 try-assists.
This year is shaping up to be an important one for both players – with Cherry-Evans heading into his first season without long-time halves partner Keiran Foran who has joined Parramatta and Brooks desperate to guide Wests Tigers to the top eight and play in his first finals series since making his debut in 2013.
Monday night is an important clash for both players, with Brooks returning to a team high on confidence after a first up win, while Cherry-Evans and co. hunt for their first victory under Coach Trent Barrett.
Brooks… Luke Brooks
Luke Brooks will channel James Bond this week, wearing a special ‘007’ numbered jersey to celebrate the launch of Spectre on DVD and Blu-Ray. The partnership was launched on Friday, with the playmaker having some fun after training with David Nofoaluma and Tim Simona who donned Bond-style tuxedos for the shoot.
Brooks and Cherry-Evans have met on three occasions previously, with the Manly-Warringah playmaker currently holding a 2-1 advantage. However, both of Cherry-Evans’ victories have been at Brookvale Oval – while Brooks was successful in their previous encounter at Leichhardt Oval (Round 5, 2014).
Sea Eagles looking to bounce back…
Manly-Warringah had a rusty start to the season last Friday, suffering a 28-6 defeat against the Bulldogs in front of a home crowd at Brookvale Oval. Cherry-Evans made two line-breaks during the match, however his halves partnership with new recruit Dylan Walker looks still to be a work in progress.
What he said…
Luke Brooks: “Missing last week wasn’t ideal and I’m keen to get back on the field. It was a great first half from the boys last week, it was really exciting to watch. We have been working hard on our attack during the pre-season and it was good to see it all come to work. Although the second half was pretty disappointing we still came away with the win and that’s what you want at the start of the season. Just getting wins, it doesn’t matter how.
“It has been a long off-season and I’m really keen to get out there.”