Sports

Luke Brooks’ last-minute field goal seals another shock win for Wests Tigers against South Sydney


After nearly two months of copping scorn from his frustrated fans, Luke Brooks had Wests Tigers’ supporters screaming his name after scoring an 80-metre try and nailing a last-minute field goal to clinch a 23-22 shock win over South Sydney.

Few players have played with as much pressure as the Tigers’ halfback in recent years. Even fewer have had to contend with as much criticism as Brooks, who bore the brunt of years of the club’s underperformance and unfulfilled potential. At Commbank Stadium on Saturday night, however, the nimble half sealed one of the club’s most memorable win in years, showing why there’s still very real hopes of a bright career for the local junior.

It may not have been his most polished 80-minute performance in an orange and black jersey but in the final clutches of a frantic match, it became one of his most mature. After scoring a runaway try in the second half, Brooks oozed composure to slot a last-gasp field goal that secured the Tigers second successive win by the margin of one point and against one of the season’s favourites.

“Luke Brooks has gone through a fair bit in his career. What a special moment that was to see him kick a field goal there,” Tigers coach Michael Maguire said.

Brooks’ late show capped off a disciplined, assured performance of the Tigers who finished the match with a 98 per-cent completion rate. By contrast, the Rabbitohs were riddled with errors, penalties and were anything but consistent. They were dealt early blows, first with a head injury for prop Hame Sele in his first start of the season, then a try from Tigers winger David Nofoaluma before Souths centre Taane Milne was sent to the bin for a late high shot on Dane Laurie.

However, the numerical disadvantage brought out the best in the Rabbitohs as they made it look like the home side were the one with a man down. In the ensuing 10 minutes, they snatched the lead. First through Cody Walker, who was set up in a brilliant offload from his winger Alex Johnston.

Shortly after, Walker turned provider for Johnston. A cut-out pass opened space for the winger down the left flank, who scored untouched in the corner.

In previous weeks, that would have been enough for the Tigers to capitulate. Instead, their newfound confidence helped them hit back. A sweeping move down the left flank caught Souths napping, creating enough room for Ken Maumalo to finish in the corner. A sideline conversion from Jackson Hastings put the Tigers back in front by two points at the break, with only a late sin bin for Alex Twal taking the gloss off an impressive first half for the cellar dwellers.

Jackson Hastings turns to celebrate as Luke Brooks sinks South Sydney with a field goal on Saturday night.

Jackson Hastings turns to celebrate as Luke Brooks sinks South Sydney with a field goal on Saturday night.Credit:NRL Photos



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