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After another week of media scrutiny, the Wests Tigers playing group is blocking out the external criticism and maintaining their focus on earning their first win of the season.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday afternoon, hooker Jake Simpkin acknowledged that unwanted opinions can be difficult to avoid but must be carefully managed.

“It is hard, we’re all on social media and we all see what is posted, but we just have to ask ourselves whether it’s helpful or harmful”.

“You’ve just got to scroll past it if it’s not going to benefit you. That’s what I try to do anyway, because otherwise it just creates negativity”.

Simpkin will return to the starting lineup this week after missing selection for the past two matches against the Sharks and Titans.

Also returning this week is five-eighth Jackson Hastings, who was forced to miss the past three games through suspension. Simpkin believes that Hastings will play a big role in providing the playing group with the right type of noise on gameday.

Jacko is a dominant voice and very vocal. It’s always handy, especially for me and my role, to have someone directing us around

Jake Simpkin


Five-eighth Luke Brooks agrees and is looking forward to taking the field alongside Hastings on Monday afternoon when the joint-venture faces off against the Eels at CommBank Stadium.

“He’s a great player and adds a lot to our attack. We’ve missed him the last three weeks that he’s been out, so it’s good to have him back in the side.”

Brooks is no stranger to receiving unwanted attention from those within the media, but has grown accustomed to the criticism and is able to block it out.

For me personally, I just don’t listen to it. I’m used to it now as everyone has their dig, but at the same time, there’s a lot of people (talking) who have never done anything in the game

Luke Brooks


“I couldn’t care less what they have to say about me because I’m just focused on playing good footy. There’s always going to be chat about us on the outside, but if we just focus on training hard, things will change eventually”.

Second-rower Luke Garner shares Brooks’ optimism, stating that the side has been training well and spirits remain high despite the results.

“Our training hasn’t reflected our performance the way we’ve wanted over the past couple of weeks, but it’s a long year so we’ll keep at it and keep trying”.

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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