Tigers poised to unleash Reynolds on Bulldogs
Josh Reynolds is itching to play his old club and Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks is one player who has no intention of trying to calm him down ahead of a date with the Bulldogs on Sunday.
With just one game played so far in the 2018 Telstra Premiership season (round six) for his new club, the stars are aligned for Reynolds to play his second against the club he adored as a child.
The 29-year-old missed the first five rounds with a hamstring strain. He returned to help beat Manly 38-12 but injured his shoulder in the match and has missed another five games.
But on Sunday at ANZ Stadium he gets to play against the club he idolised and then played 138 games for over seven years.
It's a recipe that could spell disaster – too much anticipation and eagerness leading to rash decisions.
But Brooks has no intention of turning down Reynolds' volume control.
"Not at all. I think it would be good for him to jump around a bit. He'll bring that little more energy to our side,'' he said.
"He'll be good for us. He'll be so keen, but even more so against his old team."
Winger David Nofoaluma is hoping that history won't repeat itself and Reynolds is injured a third time.
"He trained today and looked fine to me, but I don't want to rush him back because I think we're going to need him for the whole back half of the year," he told NRL.com.
"We all remember last time. But personally, I'd love to have him back since we're playing the Bulldogs. That's a good mix right there."
The Bulldogs are struggling to keep their heads above water, sitting in a 3-8 hole following Sunday's loss to Cronulla.
"I know they're down on their luck," Nofoaluma said.
"But we can't let complacency come into our thinking. We were top-four heading into the Parramatta game [round eight].
"They were last on the table and everyone tipped us, expected us to win. Look what happened. We'll be remembering that Eels game."
The Tigers lost 24-22 and of their five losses in 11 rounds, three were by two points or less.
"We're still really confident," said utility Michael Chee Kam. "All our losses were close. We haven't really been blown away by anyone.
"It's a rhythm thing. I think we've been focusing too much on our attack the last few weeks because we want to win. We just have to find that balance."
After bursting out to 5-1 after the opening six rounds, the Tigers have now slumped to a 6-5 record.
"The way this season is going, there's upsets every week. But we don't need to rely on that," Nofoaluma said.
"There is a lot of belief in this team – no panic.
"The good thing about the coaching staff and players here is that we won't dwell on the losses. We move on quickly to the next game.
"You've got to work hard because things don't just happen unless you apply yourself. But we can't let those losses keep creeping up."