Plenty of others have blamed Luke Brooks for 10 years of on field failure at the Wests Tigers, but not here.
Our view has always been that there are 13 players on the field and to single one out is simply unfair.
However, after their 46-12 loss to the Broncos in Brisbane on Saturday night, the question came up: what happens now?
It’s true that head coach Tim Sheens, who is also copping a fair bit of unfair criticism himself from the keyboard warriors, does not have many more options up his sleeve.
The loss to the rampaging Broncos was the fifth in a row, but before we all hit those panic buttons let’s remember the Wests Tigers suffered a similar fate last season.
In round six they defeated the Parramatta Eels – their next opponents this Easter Monday – to restore some pride, although it wasn’t enough to save their then coach Michael Maguire.
So obviously the first thing to do is make sure the players stay strong both as individuals and as a group, and try to avoid outside noise.
Especially these days with social media so popular.
But coming back to Brooks, who played a reasonably good game against the Broncos – I don’t remember a single mistake from him over the 80 minutes – is it possible he may need a rest? And vice versa, does the team need a rest from him?
So I would tell Brooksy, mate, get on a plane and go have a nice, relaxing holiday in Hawaii.
It would be interesting to see how the team would react to the man so many people are blaming for the woes of the Wests Tigers.
But Sheens obviously doesn’t share our wacky or zany approach, and has selected Brooks in the number seven jumper when he named the team to face the Eels on Easter Monday in round six of the NRL.
He has dropped Brandon Wakeham, with Adam Doueihi returning to five eighth, and with Charlie Staines shifting to fullback.
Brent Naden returns to the side after missing his team’s Round 5 loss to the Broncos due to an infection, and slots straight back into the centres, pushing Asu Kepaoa to the wing.
Experienced middle forward Joe Ofahengaue has been recalled to the side after impressing for Western Suburbs Magpies in the NSW Cup.
The match will kick off at 4pm at Accor Stadium (the Olympic Stadium in Homebush for those who don’t keep up with the commercial names of sporting arenas).
WESTS TIGERS TEAM LIST FOR ROUND SIX:
1. Charlie Staines
2. Asu Kepaoa
3. Brent Naden
4. Starford To’a
5. Junior Tupou
6. Adam Doueihi
7. Luke Brooks
8. Stefano Utoikamanu
9. Api Koroisau (c)
10. David Klemmer
11. Isaiah Papali’i
12. John Bateman
13. Fonua Pole
14. Jake Simpkin
15. Alex Twal
16. Joe Ofahengaue
17. Shawn Blore
18. Justin Matamua
19. Alex Seyfarth
20. Brandon Wakeham
21. Rua Ngatikaura
22. Daine Laurie