Luke Brooks, Wests Tigers vs Warriors, Michael Maguire, Jock Madden, Marcelo Montoya sin-bin, Round 3

Luke Brooks has come under fire after the Wests Tigers blew 10 minutes worth of opportunities to score against the Warriors while they were one-man down.

With the Tigers trailing by four points, Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya was binned with just 12 minutes to go.

NRL 360 Braith Anasta host asked four-time premiership-winner Cooper Cronk that as a half would he be “licking your lips,” to which Cronk said “you should be.”

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It was a golden opportunity for the Tigers to score to level the game.

“Montoya, their left winger goes, so there’s been a shuffle. Naturally you think you’ve got to get the ball to right side of the field for the Tigers,” Cronk said.

“The 17 tackles they had attacking the Warriors’ line after they went down to 12 men, they only shifted the ball their twice.

“One was when Daine Laurie dropped it and the other was when Oliver Gildart ran across and threw a long ball.

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“You just can’t have that. If you’re trying to ice the game you need to go to where they lack the player that’s gone to the sin-bin. And in that situation you don’t play long passes.

“Go to the left or right post, try and get an odd number defensively and go to that side. If they shut it down, go back to the post again and have another crack. You’ve got to give it multiple cracks when a team goes to 12 men.”

NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent asked why the Tigers didn’t do that — and whose responsibility to make that call.


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“Footy sense and footy IQ has to come (into it),” Cronk answered before explaining why star halfback Brooks should have stepped up.

“I didn’t have that understanding when I was a young kid so Jock Madden is off the hook there, he’s in his first few games.

“But if you look at the very first set when Montoya went to the bin, the Tigers had multiple shots to their left — it’s the wrong side of the field.

“Immediately they weren’t thinking — football awareness, game sense was not on their agenda — they should have been going right as opposed to left.

“I would like to think Luke Brooks takes ownership of that. If I was in that situation… that’s his ownership.

“You’ve got a rookie five-eighth and it was his side so you could probably point the finger there but it’s on Luke Brooks.

“The spine really need a little bit more game awareness and footy IQ in moments like that.”

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