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Could Brooks injury open door for Farah?

Could Brooks injury open door for Farah?

Wests Tigers were impressive in downing the Eels 23-8 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday but the big question now is what happens to the playing squad for next week if halfback Luke Brooks doesn't recover from a suspected posterior cruciate ligament strain in time to face the Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

Brooks sat out the second half after hyper-extending his knee around 20 minutes into Saturday's game.

Match report: Tigers grind out Eels
Eels v Wests Tigers: Five key points
Tough times to benefit Eels

 


Five-eighth Mitch Moses stepped up admirably in his absence while centre-turned back-rower Chris Lawrence slotted into the halves.

But with workmanlike ball-distributors such as Dene Halatau and Jordan Rankin currently manning dummy-half duties in the absence of Robbie Farah, the playmaking stocks start to look thin if Brooks is unavailable.

Speaking after the win, coach Jason Taylor reiterated that all players are in the frame each week.

"Possibly. It's a possibility [Farah will play]," Taylor said.

"It's just too early but we'll look at where Brooksy's going to be at and what the best team's going to be for this week and that will be completely clean slate in regards to everyone and the team we think's going to do the job this week.

"Everyone's available, everyone's in calculations."

Taylor however was glowing in his praise for match-winner Moses after a game in which the 21-year-old helped create all three of his side's tries and controlled proceedings as effectively the lone half in the second 40 minutes.

"He and Luke have really developed [their control of the team] over the last few weeks and when Luke wasn't there [against the Eels] Mitch was great," Taylor said.

"Then having a guy like Chris Lawrence stepping into that position, we've seen it before this year, he did a great job last time when we lost Mitch in the warm-up a few weeks ago now. He's just so composed Chris, he just slotted into that spot."

That improvement has come about because of a belief in what the team's doing, he added.

"We really turned a corner, I think I talked about it last week. We played Newcastle [in Round 11] and the Broncos [in Round 12] and the style of footy we played at the back end of the Newcastle game and then for 80 minutes against the Broncos was the type of footy that as coaches we've been pushing the team to play.

"We showed them the 20 minutes at the back end of the Newcastle game and how that got us the result then they did it for 80 minutes in the Broncos game.

"Mitch in particular said 'I see it, let's do it' and he's been driving the team to play that way every week."

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