Prior to this season, Jacob Liddle had never played more than 13 games in a single season.
This year, he featured 20 times in the top grade — injury free.
Apart from a three-week absence to reserve grade, Liddle locked down the starting dummy-half role at the club despite having rookie hooker Jake Simpkin nipping at his heels.
Across the 20 matches, Liddle scored a career-high six tires, recorded four try assists and averaged 40 tackles a match at a 92 percent efficiency.
Liddle also re-signed with the club for a further two seasons, which will see him remain in Wests Tigers colours until at least the end of the 2023 season.
The talented hooker has overcome several injuries throughout his career — including a serious knee injury in 2019 that sidelined him for part of the 2020 season — but made a strong return and featured prominently for the club this year.
“I’m really excited to be able to stay on with the club,” Liddle enthused.
“It’s been a bit of an up-and-down ride for myself personally, but I’ve loved being at Wests Tigers and really feel a part of what we’re building here.
“I’m determined now to make sure I continue to deliver my best footy each and every week and help bring success to the club, its Members and its fans.”
Appearances — 20
Tries — 6
Total running metres — 1141 (avg. 57.1)
Line breaks — 10
Try assists — 4
Line-break assists — 4
Tackles made — 791 (avg. 39.6)
Tackle efficiency — 92.1%
NRL Fantasy points — 960 (avg. 48)
Who knew Liddle was that fast?
Trapping the ball five metres out from his own line, he raced 95 metres to score against the Panthers at Leichhardt Oval.
Liddle turns defence into attack and goes the distance
WHAT WAS SAID
One of my goals was to stay on the field, so to get more games in a season than I’ve ever had is great. I'll take this season, but there's definitely a lot I can improve on. You can't go stale and not try and improve. I've set some goals for next year and I'll keep working on my game.Jacob Liddle
Liddle stepped it up against Manly in Round 19 at Suncorp Stadium in arguably his best performance of the season.
As well as scoring a try, he recorded two line-breaks, three tackle breaks, 95 touches, 97 running metres and 39 tackles.
Liddle enjoyed scoring six tries across the season.
Liddle is expected to start next season in the number nine jersey, but there is a long way to go before that is finalised.
He will be in a battle for the starting role with youngster Jake Simpkin over the pre-season, but it’s likely both hookers will have a place in the 17.
“I’m happy with how Jakey is going and he’s improving every week,” Liddle said.
“He’s like a sponge — he soaks everything up.
“He’s pushing me and I’m pushing him to get better. It’s pushed me to be more of a leader and I’ve been working on that.
“It’s been working well. Where the game is at, at the moment, with the game speed, that impact hooker coming off the bench is working for a few teams.”