NRL News: Brooks warns Tigers fans to go easy on ‘confident’ Galvin, Broncos unleash biggest player ever


Luke Brooks has warned fans and critics to go easy on Lachlan Galvin, desperate for the Wests Tigers’ new shiny toy to not face the same pressure he long felt.

Galvin was the star of the show in the Tigers’ 17-16 Easter Monday win over Parramatta, laying on two tries in a coming-of-age performance.

The 18-year-old is already seen as the bright light of the battling joint-venture, who are desperate to end a run of 12 straight seasons out of the NRL finals.

But Brooks knows all too well how the story can play out.

He was only one day older than Galvin was when he made his NRL debut for the joint venture at the SCG in 2012, and was almost immediately labelled as the next Andrew Johns.

Galvin has so far avoided similar comparisons, with Tigers coach Benji Marshall seeing more similarities with former Melbourne premiership winner Scott Hill than any rugby league Immortal.

And it’s something Brooks is happy to see, adamant near-unattainable comparisons must be avoided for the sake of Galvin and other youngsters.

“It’s hard on young kids if they’re coming through and getting compared to someone who has done it all in the game,” Brooks said.

“They’ve just got to let the kids be themselves. I haven’t seen any comparisons to Lachie which is a good thing because people should just let him be himself.

“By the looks of it, young kids don’t get too fazed. He looks confident.”

Brooks labelled the joint-venture’s win as a glimpse into the future, with young fullback Jahream Bula finishing off a late go-ahead try after a Galvin bust.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

But by the same token, he knows it won’t always be easy for the young Tiger cubs.

Brooks became the most scrutinised player in the game for the majority of his stint in black, orange and white, before he opted for a fresh start at Manly this year.

And he doesn’t want the same pressure to fall on Galvin.

“Because he came into the NRL and no one really knows how he plays, they don’t have as much video on you,” Brooks said. “But once teams tend to start finding your weaknesses, that’s when it starts to get a bit harder.

“He has been playing some good footy and he’s definitely a great player, and one for the future. People have got to realise that he’s a young kid and he’s not going to be playing his best footy week in, week out.

Galvin will miss the clash with the Dolphins on Saturday night after copping a two-match ban for a hip-drop tackle.

Broncos back big Ben to make timely debut

Giant Brisbane prop Ben Te Kura has been backed to perform on his NRL debut in a baptism of fire against fierce rivals Melbourne at AAMI Park.

At 205cm, the 19-year-old will become the tallest player ever to feature in the NRL. He is five centimetres taller than Storm behemoth Nelson Asofa-Solomona, who has not been named for Thursday night’s showdown.

Te Kura has got his opportunity due to a head knock at training for Xavier Willison, who drops off the bench.

“Aside from his monstrous frame, Ben has an appetite for the collision and some good footwork,” former Brisbane captain Corey Parker told AAP on Tuesday. “He has the ability to provide some decent offloads. That will all come for him, but at the moment he has a great opportunity to debut against a very strong club.

“I debuted against a real strong (Warriors) side and it can be good for you when you are playing in the middle.

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“Not that his job would change against a lesser side, but it is a great test for him against the Storm.”

Te Kura has been honing his craft in the Queensland Cup for Souths-Logan where he has shone. He also impressed in the pre-season trials for the Broncos.

“It is a bit of a reward for him for what he has been doing in the Queensland Cup that Kevvie (coach Kevin Walters) feels he can play first grade and has no qualms putting him in against Melbourne,” Parker said.

“Big Ben will go alright. He’ll have to. Defensively, he will know who he is playing once (Storm hooker) Harry Grant comes out at him.”

The Broncos have not beaten the Storm at AAMI Park since 2016, losing their last seven games at the venue. They did get the better of Melbourne in last year’s finals series, winning 26-0 at Suncorp Stadium – an anomaly in their overall record.

“When Cameron Smith was playing for (Melbourne) in particular their style worried Brisbane and it is something that Craig Bellamy has continued,” Parker said.

Ben Te Kura… all 205cm & 125kg of him ????????

— Darcie McDonald (@DarcieMcDonald) February 24, 2024

“Last year it was a bit different (in the finals) because the style Brisbane play with now is different, particularly when (currently injured) Reece Walsh and Payne Haas are in the side.

“Now Brisbane like to shift the ball and back their ability.

“Previously Cameron Smith would shift the ball to an edge with one wide pass. You had to ask the middle forwards to fill up on a short side and if they were late getting there the Storm would attack.

“If you put too many forwards on the short side, Smithy would come back to the middle. It was all just a game of numbers from his point of view.”

with AAP

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