A Luke Brooks-inspired Wests Tigers have beaten a South Sydney minus Greg Inglis 25-16 in a spiteful NRL encounter at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Inglis was knocked out in the fifth minute in a Tim Simona hit after Souths had opened the scoring through a converted try to Ben Lowe.
As per the NRL’s new concussion rules Inglis didn’t return and Simona was one of five players alongside George Burgess, James Gavet, Bryson Goodwin and Aaron Woods put on report in a torrid match.
Luke Burgess was also sinbinned for a high shot.
Simona and teammate Liam Fulton also left the field due to the concussion rule and weren’t allowed to return.
Brooks had a hand in four of the Tigers five tries as the joint venture showed they’re unlikely to be the wooden spoon contenders many had them pegged as pre-season.
And the rookie halfback showed he is every bit the game’s next superstar he’s been pinpointed as.
After Souths early try in the round three match before 20,061 fans, Brooks sparked the Tigers with an outside ball to Bodene Thompson on the Rabbitohs line on the 14th minute.
In a match with plenty of feeling, Tigers forward leader Woods took it to the Souths pack in the first 20 minutes and enjoyed a number of running battles with Sam and George Burgess throughout.
Robbie Farah, playing one of his best games for some time, threw the final pass for Simona’s converted try in the 30th minute as the Tigers went ahead 10-6.
Simona added a double five minute before halftime courtesy of Brooks and the Tigers led 14-6 at the break.
Brooks threw the last pass for Pat Richards’ try in the 42nd minute and kicked through brilliantly on the inside for James Tedesco to score in the 53rd minute before two late consolation tries to Joel Reddy.
Issac Luke left the field two minutes from time with a possible serious arm injury.
Brooks was binned in the final minute for a professional foul after slowing a Souths restart.