It’s been more than a year since Luke Brooks deleted his social media accounts as a way to block out the negative noise that can consume an NRL player struggling for form.
And after a 40-6 loss to the Sydney Roosters last Sunday, the Wests Tigers halfback thanked himself for making the call to delete Instagram.
The 26-year-old was criticised by some of the biggest names in the game after the loss to the Roosters, with stories also surfacing that the Tigers had sought out Jackson Hastings as his replacement.
The Tigers have since denied that the addition of Hastings would come at the expense of local junior Brooks, but the headlines were impossible to ignore.
Even for a bloke with almost no social media – everything but TikTok is gone from his phone.
“I just tried to stay away from reading into anything, but that’s hard because you’re on your phone and it will pop up and you’ll accidentally see it,” he told AAP.
“I actually don’t have social media anymore.
“I had Instagram for a while but I haven’t had it for over a year.
“I try not to worry about it too much because at the end of the day I’ve got confidence in myself and I just wanted to go out there and prove a few people wrong.
“We’ve got a lot to improve on but it’s a start.”
A shock 24-20 win over Newcastle on Sunday provided a positive end to a frustrating week for Brooks and the Tigers, who are adamant they’re a better team than they’ve shown in losses to Canberra and the Roosters.
After their first win of the season against the Knights, coach Michael Maguire said he saw more of the fighting spirit the team has been trying to build.
“I was really pleased with Brooksy,” Maguire said.
“He had plenty going on around him, but one thing he did was put it aside and focus on what he needed to do for the team and he was able to do that.
“The team rallied around him in the right way. They worked hard in attack and allowed him to get on the front foot to be able to get our kicks into better positions.
“You’ve got to do that as a team.”