NRL Rd 2 - Knights v Wests Tigers
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Jackson Hastings of the Wests Tigers is tackled during the round two NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium, on March 20, 2022, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It doesn't matter if it's a cabinet, a scrapbook or a rugby league side, the second you lose the glue from something, it begins falling apart.

It's certainly been the case for the Wests Tigers following Jackson Hastings' broken leg, with the club now appearing destined for rugby league's most maligned award - the wooden spoon.

Hastings has been a breath of fresh air for a club known for its lack of professional standards and holding themselves accountable, the former Man of Steel recipient has owned his mistakes and his past from day dot.

However, their record without the half-turned-lock is borderline diabolical.

When Hastings plays this year, the Tigers win 25% of their games, four from 16 attempts, and lose by an average of nine points. They concede 26 points per game with him in their line-up, though they do manage to score 17 of their own.

The move to lock improved the team even more so, losing by two points to Penrith, a controversial one-point defeat to North Queensland as well as a 14 point victory over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, which would prove to be Hastings' final game in 2022.

However, without the former Rooster and Sea Eagle in their side, they don't win. At all. Wests Tigers are zero-from-six when Hastings watches from the sideline, and their loss margin widens even more.

NRL Trial Match - Roosters v Wests Tigers
GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25: Luke Brooks of the Tigers gestures during the NRL Trial Match between the Sydney Roosters and the Wests Tigers at Central Coast Stadium on February 25, 2022 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

While they let in an extra three points per match, it's their attack that really struggles, scoring under eight points a game without Hastings. Ten less points per game takes their average loss margin to 22 points without the utility half.

He literally makes the Wests Tigers a 12-point better side, and that's just his on-field influence.

He paid his own way to watch the Tigers play on the Gold Coast early in the season whilst sidelined, a glaring comparison to Newcastle captain Kalyn Ponga and the cubicle saga that's currently dominating headlines.

Rumoured to be on the outer after Tim Sheens once again declared his support for Luke Brooks, Hastings is a figure the Tigers simply can't afford to lose. Not for his kicking game, or his level-headed approach each match, but for the standards he brings to the club on and off the park.

Couple him with the premiership-winning experience of Api Koroisau and the work ethic of Isaiah Papali'i, and suddenly the Concord club are building a team on something other than potential.

If the Wests Tigers are to escape the dark cellar any time soon, it'll be Hastings holding the flashlight, leading the way out.