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Older, wiser, bigger Luke Brooks hits top gear

Ryan Matterson earned the man of the match award in Tamworth on Saturday night, but the man in the Wests Tigers' No.7 jersey had just as much to say in the outcome of the match.

Luke Brooks was immense in his side's 30-14 win over the Titans but steering the team around the park wasn't the only thing he offered.

He also handled everything that was thrown at his edge, putting on some pretty heavy shots for good measure.

He earned some solid praise from his coach but was reluctant to take much of the credit when speaking to

On his defensive improvement, he said it was mostly down to some gruelling work over the summer.

"That's just from working hard on it in the pre-season, we've done a lot of wrestling and stuff like that but I think it comes with age too," Brooks said.

Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Titans

"Coming in, halves are obviously smaller but once you get a bit older you get a bit stronger and I think that's helped me so far."

The injury-forced departure of Josh Reynolds forced to take charge of proceedings on his own. It sat well with the 24-year-old.

"[Losing Josh Reynolds early] didn't help but I thought Matto [Ryan Matterson] did a good job filling in at five-eighth and I knew I had to take control so it wasn't too bad," Brooks said.

"He grew up as a five-eighth so he obviously knows what he's doing, he played plenty of five-eighth in his time so he certainly did well there and I think he's playing some good footy."

Fonua fires with hat-trick in Tamworth

Despite the team's poor start to the game – and following from last week's runaway 51-6 loss to the Eels – Brooks never felt they were out of the contest.

"It wasn't the best start to the game but once we got the control back I thought we played pretty well," he said.

"There's still a couple of errors we need to fix up but I think our defence was good when they had the ball on our line, we kept turning them away so that was good signs for us.

"I was pretty confident we could still win the game, even at 14-0 down I thought if we held the ball and built a bit of pressure we could score a couple of tries and that's what we did so it was good we didn't panic, we could have easily gone into our shell."

Brooks also praised the packed and parochial Tamworth crowd, who were in full voice during the side's comeback.

"I loved it; we came out here last year too, there are quite a few Tigers fans out here so it was good," he said.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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