Luke Brooks’ failure to deliver on his substantial promise has been panned by former greats Peter Sterling and Andrew Johns in the wake of Wests Tigers’ 36-4 drubbing to Canterbury.
Brooks was criticised for his limited involvement as the Tigers suffered yet another disappointing loss at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
Once touted as a future NSW No.7, Brooks ran the ball just once and made six tackles, but missed another six, according to Fox Sports Stats.
“He has to give his team more,” Johns, widely considered the greatest halfback in history, said on the Network Nine commentary.
“He has got a lot of raps. There is talk he isn’t behind forwards going forward but he has to get his hands on the ball more … I don’t get it.”
Sterling added: “If you wait in this game for structured play to work for you, you will never create it. I want him pushing up on the shoulder of his forwards.”
Brooks is off-contract at the end of the year and reportedly being chased by several clubs.
However after 54 first grade games, some commentators are beginning to question when he will blossom after showing so much promise in the juniors.
Tigers coach Jason Taylor defended his No.7, saying he was the victim of the side’s lack of go-forward, and pointing to his performance in the side’s round nine win over South Sydney.
“It’s pretty clear to say the Bulldogs dominated the middle of the field in this game for pretty much the 80 minutes and that’s going to make it hard to play on the back of,” Taylor said.
“The opportunities weren’t really there, we created a few but nowhere near enough.”
Meanwhile, Cronulla equalled the biggest winning margin in their history with a 62-0 obliteration of Newcastle which left Knights players in tears on the field.
Anthony Milford put on a five-star display as Brisbane routed Manly 30-6 at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
Melbourne emphasised their status as a title threat as they scraped home 15-14 against premiers North Queensland thanks to a Cameron Smith field goal.
Tyrone Peachey bagged a hat-trick as Penrith – who have made a habit of playing out tight scorelines of late – did it comfortably 30-18 against the Warriors.
South Sydney inflicted further heartache on the controversy-plagued Parramatta, snatching a 22-20 win after standout Luke Keary crossed for a late try at Pirtek Stadium.
St George Illawarra stole a 16-12 result over Canberra after Euan Aitken intercepted a wayward Jack Wighton pass after the siren had sounded on the first half of golden point in one of the great NRL finishes of recent memory.