Tigers halves were always looking to stay
While prodigious Wests Tigers halves Mitch Moses and Luke Brooks certainly examined their options this year, both say they were always expecting to stay and continue to build their careers at Concord.
The formerly off-contract pair each activated one-year options in their favour recently and will now both come off contract again at the end of 2017, along with star fullback James Tedesco.
"It's good to have it sorted out but it wasn't really playing on my mind too much. I wasn't too worried about it," Moses told NRL.com of the extension.
Moses wasn't interested in discussing a recent errant tweet from Panthers General Manager of Football Phil Gould that appeared to suggest the Roosters were making a strong play for the Holy Cross Ryde junior.
"Not at all, Gus can tweet whatever he wants so I couldn't care less. That's up to him, he can do what he wants," Moses said.
The 21-year-old was however happy to elaborate on the reasons why it was the Tigers rather than a rival club that earned his services for next year.
"This is where I feel most comfortable playing my footy. I think this is where I'll grow compared to [other clubs] so I'm happy with the way I'm playing at the moment and hopefully it keeps going," he said.
"I'm maturing as a player here, I've really grown and I'm learning the tough way."
Moses is managed by his cousin, Isaac Moses, and he said he had left it in Isaac's hands up until it was time to make a final decision over the past fortnight.
"I was just focusing on playing footy for the Tigers then he came up to me in the last two weeks and we started chatting a bit," he added.
"I was just focusing on those [football-related] things and more importantly focusing on getting a few wins. We want to make the top eight this year and we're in a position that we could do that. If we win our next couple of games we're a massive chance."
Brooks told NRL.com he was glad to have his immediate future sorted and was happy to be at the Tigers for another year.
"Obviously we had a look elsewhere but I think in the back of my mind I thought I was always going to stay here and take up that option and go from there," he said.
"I think this club suits me and I think that's what's best for me at the moment."
While he pointed out he doesn't want to only be known as one half of a pair, he is glad to be able to continue to build his budding combination with close mates Moses and Tedesco.
"Playing with them is key for me. It was good to have Mitch stay as well and hopefully we can build on those combos," he said.
"I don't think we really want to be branded as a pair all the time, we want to be ourselves and be our own players but in saying that it's good that we're both going to stay together.
"We have played a lot of footy together with most of the boys so that is a good thing. We've got to concentrate on training hard and winning games because we aren't where we want to be on the ladder so we want to start winning games and that starts this week against Souths. If we put in a big performance going into the bye that's four points there and that puts us back in touch with the eight."
Tedesco also welcomed the pair's decisions to stay.
"It's awesome. We're best mates off the field and to have another year with them – I'm off next year as well so it's good to have another year together and we're all secure for that," Tedesco told NRL.com.
"I love playing with these boys and I think they've hit a bit of form the last few weeks and they've got a great combination going so happy to keep that going."
Of the chance to have three young playmakers building their careers at the same time, Tedesco drew the comparison to the success the Storm have had with their trio of Maroons and Kangaroos stars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk over the past decade.
"I think Melbourne are a prime example with how they've done that with Smith, Slater and Cronk and if we can continue to get some games under our belt and years under our belt together then we're only going to get better," he added.