Boom young Wests Tigers NRL halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses are being subjected to too much external pressure, according to their coach.
Halfback Brooks and five-eighth Moses, both 20, have played just 29 and 17 first-grade games respectively, going into Friday night’s clash with Canterbury in Sydney.
The former Australian Schoolboys representatives were tipped for big things even before breaking into first grade and have been targeted by opposing forwards.
They have produced moments of brilliance this season, though both have been patchy.
“I think there’s too much pressure put on them, that’s for sure,” Tigers coach Jason Taylor said on Thursday.
“I think the fact that you (media) guys want to write about them every second week, it applies too much pressure in my opinion.
“But that’s part of being in the NRL. Everybody has got a comment about how they are performing.
“But they won’t and they don’t feel that pressure from me, because we just need to keep developing them within the game plan that we’re working hard on.”
Taylor was happy with the way both players were developing and handling the pressures of first grade, though he admitted their defence could have been better in the Tigers’ spectacular capitulation last weekend to Canberra.
“Last week was a bit of a step backwards there, but I’ve been really happy with the way they’ve defended,” Taylor said.
“They need to keep doing that – they understand that.
“It’s going to be a test for them, week in, week out.
“Some of the things that we did as a team last week will mean that teams are going to come at us in a certain way that they may not have continued to do had we kept going with the way we were playing.”
Another playmaker under scrutiny in Friday’s game at ANZ Stadium will be the Bulldogs’ NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds, who has struggled to produce the form that catapulted him into Origin last season.
“He hasn’t had the ideal start, his off-season with a broken arm, but I thought he was a lot better last week,” Bulldogs’ coach Des Hasler said of Reynolds.