Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks has been named the Lantrak Man of the Match following his brilliant performance against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
Brooks was simply a class above throughout the match, but particularly in the first half, where he had a hand in three tries scored by teammates before burrowing over from dummy half for a try himself.
The wiry halfback ran the ball a season-high 19 times for 137 metres — a sight which will no doubt have pleased Wests Tigers fans, with Brooks clearly at his best when taking the line on.
Eight of those 19 runs engaged the defensive line, with Brooks ending the night with a try, linebreak, two try-assists, two linebreak assists, five tackle breaks and an offload next to his name.
The 23-year-old earned deserved praise from Coach Ivan Cleary and co-captain Benji Marshall post-game.
“I think he deserves to be spoken about [for Origin] because he’s in good form,” Cleary said.
“The reality is that there’s positions up for grabs in that team; they’ve got a new Coach in Freddy and he’ll want to pick players who are in form. Whether he does or not, I don’t know.
“But I think he [Brooks] has every right to be in that discussion. “
“I think he’s matured a lot since I was here last,” Marshall added.
“The the one thing he was always good at — even when I was here — was running the ball.
“I think the last few weeks he’s been outstanding in that regard, but now he’s providing repeat sets as well and I don’t think he’s feeling the pressure that he used to.”