Is Luke brooks the piece we’ve been missing

My biggest fear would be Brooks missing tackles, right next to Schuster in the 12. A big factor in our team's failures this year was the defensive hole right between 6 and 12, for most of the year. When we succeeded, usually one of Tualigi or Schuster wasn't there. I think Schuster will develop into a good defender over time, but to me Brooks is quite the unknown quantity, and I'm unsure about what I've seen so far from him defensively.
It's almost like the only way we can hope to beat teams is if we score 40+ points a game, knowing the other team can put the same amount of points on us due to our poor defence. That's not how premierships are won.
 

manly al

First Grader
Just hope that Brooks can form or develop a good understanding in defensive reads with whoever else plays on his side .
Just too many occasions also last season with Shu as the 6 , poor reads and positioning starting there and throwing the rest of the defensive line out of kilter .
Especially close to the Manly line where naturally it is just too hard to retrieve the situation once the line is breached .
No reason why brooks can not go well in attack , good natural speed , a lot of experience now and a fairly smart footy player in general .
Latu Fainu may end up a good level footy player , obviously was made difficult to retain him but letting him go a bit of an uncertain call .
Let "s hope that it is very much vindicated with Brooks really hitting his straps all round but particularly getting or helping to get those vital inner defensive reads right to shore up the rest of the defensive line outside of him .
 

SeaEagleRock8

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Tipping Member
My biggest fear would be Brooks missing tackles, right next to Schuster in the 12.
Just checked Brooks's missed tackle stats and they aren't great. Stats don't tell the whole story though, if your team is getting flogged then you will always be under more pressure when defending.
But you make a good point, if Schu and Brooks are on an edge together they will be targeted mercilessly.
 
Just checked Brooks's missed tackle stats and they aren't great. Stats don't tell the whole story though, if your team is getting flogged then you will always be under more pressure when defending.
But you make a good point, if Schu and Brooks are on an edge together they will be targeted mercilessly.
I have seen Brooks in the highlights miss some very basic 1 on 1 tackles.
 

double hoops

First Grader
The shoe will need to run some straight lines for brooks to be at his best. For them both to be at their best. The shoe will need to find some concrete for that to happen. He couldn't even have run for the last 6 months never mind straight and hard.
 

Mal Cochrane

I'm not really Mal Cochrane...
I don't see Schu being the hole runner type of player. Who is the centre winger on Brooks/Schu side, if that even were to happen? Maybe for example the centre is the hole runner, gets it sometimes, other times it goes out to Schu, with Turbo and winger outside him.

I just dont see Schu breaking the line as a backrower....i could be wrong. Schu at 2nd row throws the balance out of whack I think
 

Disco

First Grader
Premium Member
The shoe will need to run some straight lines for brooks to be at his best. For them both to be at their best. The shoe will need to find some concrete for that to happen. He couldn't even have run for the last 6 months never mind straight and hard.
This is why currently I'd have Burbo in the left edge position
 

manly al

First Grader
Shu has or ideally can still have some good late footwork when he takes on a defensive line .
Also have not regarded him previously or primarily as a direct hole runner but again has seemed to have that knack to beat opposition defences with that bit of deceptive late footwork .
Plus still being a relatively robust individual player with some natural strength .
Still more concerned with his tackling effectiveness ,
Does need a bit more determination and application in that department to help his own game and side "s prospects when he will be on an edge again .
Burbo and would again contend Parker the ones for some more direct hole running on an edge if and when needed or the opportunity may present
 

Pete W

Reserve Grader
I don't see Schu being the hole runner type of player. Who is the centre winger on Brooks/Schu side, if that even were to happen? Maybe for example the centre is the hole runner, gets it sometimes, other times it goes out to Schu, with Turbo and winger outside him.

I just dont see Schu breaking the line as a backrower....i could be wrong. Schu at 2nd row throws the balance out of whack I think
Having said that, when the ruck is centre - right, often Brooks will be first receiver, leaving Chez free for following plays (obviously this is one of the reasons why we brought in Brooks in the first place, for his left kick as an option).

During these attacking shapes, the Schu would be second receiver (essentially the role of traditional 5/8) - with the option to play out to his centre & wing, and a chiming fullback either outside to complete an overlap, or coming back on his inside.

This will be a very dynamic edge - IF their confidence isn't shot by being known as a poor defensive edge. Also, the beauty of this, is it makes DCE and the right side a lot more dangerous, as Chez can bring in his right kick when it is advantageous, as opposed to out of necessity. He can also focus a little more on bringing in Ola'akautu on tactical and precise raids, better utilising his resources.

If Turbo and Schu are fit and playing well, the other top 10 players in our 30 are more than capable of putting on some pretty formidable performances, and Brooks could certainly be a huge part in this.
 
Having said that, when the ruck is centre - right, often Brooks will be first receiver, leaving Chez free for following plays (obviously this is one of the reasons why we brought in Brooks in the first place, for his left kick as an option).

During these attacking shapes, the Schu would be second receiver (essentially the role of traditional 5/8) - with the option to play out to his centre & wing, and a chiming fullback either outside to complete an overlap, or coming back on his inside.

This will be a very dynamic edge - IF their confidence isn't shot by being known as a poor defensive edge. Also, the beauty of this, is it makes DCE and the right side a lot more dangerous, as Chez can bring in his right kick when it is advantageous, as opposed to out of necessity. He can also focus a little more on bringing in Ola'akautu on tactical and precise raids, better utilising his resources.

If Turbo and Schu are fit and playing well, the other top 10 players in our 30 are more than capable of putting on some pretty formidable performances, and Brooks could certainly be a huge part in this.
Schu could do with Glenn Stewart's dose of wisdom.
 

Disco

First Grader
Premium Member
Interesting.
 

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Ron E. Gibbs

First Grader
Not great reading considering Schu underperformed last year.
Schu was probably the most scrutinised player in the NRL last year. Didn't matter what he did or didn't do, he got hammered for it. But weirdly enough, as patchy as his season was, I thought it proved he was a half and not a forward - and before that I was always convinced he belonged in the second row. I have no idea where he'll fit into the team from here on in.
 

40 nil

It's only a game ...
I thought it proved he was a half and not a forward - and before that I was always convinced he belonged in the second row. I have no idea where he'll fit into the team from here on in.
Schuster's forte is try assists. He usually celebrates privately after every try in which he has been involved. However, as we know, there is much more to the game than setting up tries. If he could change his mind set and aim to also to become a hard working defender, I think lock could be his best position. Traditionally, there has always been fluidity between the five eighth & lock positions, e.g. Brian Clay, Brad Fittler, Jim Dymock & so on. A player of somewhat similar style to Schuster is Isaah Yeo, who tends to step past defenders rather than try run over the top of them. Schuster has a good step for a big man. Yeo has ball distribution skills, but Schuster is more talented in this regard. Yeo is a very hard worker in all aspects of his game and this is where Schuster needs to match him. If he could do this, he has the potential to be one of Manly's best ever lock forwards (IMO).
 

eaglebuzz

Bencher
Schu was probably the most scrutinised player in the NRL last year. Didn't matter what he did or didn't do, he got hammered for it. But weirdly enough, as patchy as his season was, I thought it proved he was a half and not a forward - and before that I was always convinced he belonged in the second row. I have no idea where he'll fit into the team from here on in.
He could be the best lock in the game but he will need to embrace doing the tough stuff
 

manly al

First Grader
Was worth a shot giving Shu a crack at 6 last season but in the same instance , was going against the trend of the type and style of the 6 role at N R L level for some time now .
More sharp attacking and open running type individuals more the norm .
Shu did not help matters with his regular hesitant and less direct approach , especially against better organized defences but even if slightly better in this department , still not the best fit there
Not sure if reverting to a 13 role would offer much improvement with his overall contribution for a range of reasons , also no indication this is being considered .
Only the priority again to reestablish himself on an edge .
Probably could help Turbo 's forays into the attacking line also and working off Shu just a bit off the ruck utilizing his ball playing skills .
Was not going to happen with Tuilagi on an edge and better for Turbo to be sniffing around in this area then in the teeth of a defensive line in the ruck area .
Anyway , still ideally a better fit at 13 to eventually include but again highly doubt that the Shu will come into calculations
 

BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
Not great reading considering Schu underperformed last year.
The 2023 Shuey Stats Perspective ...

The 2023 stats Are the stats he produced when he was playing over weight , unfit and under confidence

His desire has Always been to play 5/8 but he has stated that he will play anywhere for the top dollar he is earning
A player that plays with desire always plays with more passion that the one that plays for the dollar

I believe the Shu Best and happiest place is at 5/8
But before he can be at his best he must give it his best in discipline with the assistance of his best mentor that can get the best out of him
1701563799389.png
 

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