Farah-less Tigers out to prove a point

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willow
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Farah-less Tigers out to prove a point

Unread post by willow » Thu 03 Jul, 2014 8:00 pm

Farah-less Tigers out to prove a point

By Matt Encarnacion, Western Sydney Correspondent
NRL.com
11:55am Thu 03rd July, 2014

Back-up hooker Joel Luani says it's time for the Wests Tigers to show they can win without talismanic skipper Robbie Farah, and he's going to use his full attacking repertoire to do it.

The Tigers have lost four of their five games without captain Robbie Farah this season, suffering defeats to the Gold Coast, the Roosters, Brisbane and South Sydney earlier in the year.

Their disappointing record has led to coach Mick Potter calling on his back-up rake to make his mark on the team – and the NRL.

"I'm trying to improve every time and right now I need to take more ownership instead of giving service to Brooksy [Luke Brooks] and Braith [Anasta] at the same time. It's time to step up and put my stamp on," Luani said on Thursday.

The 22-year-old lines up for just his ninth first-grade game when they host Penrith at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, and he admitted struggling to adapt his game to NRL-speed.

"When you start out, you tend to think, 'Just don't make any mistakes' when you come up," he said.

"But now it's time to take ownership and start exploiting the defence when I can and not so much give service, but also hopefully take some half-opportunities for myself."

Luani said a deep review alongside Potter of his five games this year has revealed the American international needed to put more pressure on opposition defences.

"I just think I've been struggling to bring it to the NRL. Mick's been happy with how I've been going. I've always known that there's room for improvement and so does Mick," he said.

"It's been pretty clear that I'm a defence-first hooker and I enjoy defending. In attack, just look to bring in a bit more of my running game and subtlety and things like that.

"Doing the review with each other, we just know there are little cracks where I can take opportunities and not be afraid of them. I can't just shy away because I'm in the NRL. I've had a few games now and it's time to step up."

Halfback Luke Brooks also said he too needed to elevate his game in the absence of his skipper and that a win against Penrith would give the team plenty of confidence as they head into the final third of the regular season.

"Definitely, it'd be a massive confidence booster for the boys if we can get a win without Robbie and Woodsy in the team because the last few games without them we haven't played our best," Brooks said.

"Hopefully we can turn that around this week and play a good game without them two... because when [Farah] is playing, he controls the game well. I guess I've just got to take more ownership of the team and be more dominant without him."


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AmericanHistoryX
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Unread post by AmericanHistoryX » Thu 03 Jul, 2014 8:03 pm

I think Luani has been on the forum.

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Unread post by Snake » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 7:10 am

Nobody is expecting Luani to be Robbie Farah,what supporters expect is a player that is capable of filling in for the captain. Maybe being able to play more than 10mins without others having to fill in at dummy half, throwing forward passes 1 out of 3 balls and laying all over players to be penalised constantly . Supporters only want a competent replacement for the Captain not a world beater pretty simple really ,actions speak louder than words.

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Unread post by Eye Of Da Tiger » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 7:40 am

Hope he follows through. Has been pretty ordinary to date in the little NRL that he has played.Somebody needs to have an absolute blinder for is to be any chance on Sunday.

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Unread post by pHyR3 » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 10:33 am

He played decently last year, not so much this time around.


i suspect he will lift his game this week. He has the potential to be a solid back up hooker for sure.
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Unread post by stevied » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 10:54 am

Without harping, his was one of the disappointing selections this week and one of the plodders we have spread right throughout the team. Unless there's an amazing turnaround in form, I can't see how giving Cherrington a chance wasn't a better option. Cherrington is young and inexperienced and, even though his absence would disrupt the NYC team, he gives every indication of a being a confident, composed and decisive young player. He is great out of dummy half and directs traffic well. Again, I say, why not take a couple of gambles. It looks like Moses might get a run. Why not Cherrington and Fine as well.......?

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Unread post by 851 » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 11:22 am

stevied wrote:Without harping, his was one of the disappointing selections this week and one of the plodders we have spread right throughout the team. Unless there's an amazing turnaround in form, I can't see how giving Cherrington a chance wasn't a better option. Cherrington is young and inexperienced and, even though his absence would disrupt the NYC team, he gives every indication of a being a confident, composed and decisive young player. He is great out of dummy half and directs traffic well. Again, I say, why not take a couple of gambles. It looks like Moses might get a run. Why not Cherrington and Fine as well.......?
Can't argue,Luani and Lulia have shown not much,Moses,Cherrington and Fine could do no worse.
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Unread post by Justo » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 11:35 am

I'm still confused why Halatau would not be our full time hooker when Farah is absent? Surely he's more experienced and better playing that key spot?

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Unread post by tig_prmz » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 11:38 am

robbie farah's defense around the ruck, amazing attack, leadership and kicking game means one person cannot be expected to replace him. everyone from 1-17 needs to pick up their games to cover for robbie.
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Unread post by genoshan » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 12:19 pm

Without looking up stats, it seems to me we also give away a hell of a lot more penalties without Farah. I think he instils discipline in the team. I never feel comfortable when he is not in the team.

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Unread post by Justo » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 12:27 pm

Then make Blair captain. Hopefully the responsibility will force him to be a little more disciplined. And in turn reduce our penalty count by 60% at least.

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Unread post by hammertime » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 12:41 pm

Could not exposing Cherington to the NRL until absolutely necessary be a ploy to keep him out of the spotlight so he doesn't command too many dollars?

I assume the club would love to keep him for 3-4 years until Robbie retires.

If he gets NRL game time, it will make that all the much harder.

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Unread post by Jay » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 1:29 pm

Oh please do Luani. Wouldn't that be the best? If he came out and was dangerous in attack.

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Unread post by barra » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 1:57 pm

Well I think that interview shows good attitude, and good coaching.

It is clear that Luani has started to under-achieved and it seems the coach has brought that to his attention clearly and in a positive manner.

Potter has shown he is not willing to throw too many young heads into the team at the one time and I agree with that. It is not do-or-die just yet, and that being the case means forward planning is also important.

The proof will be in the pudding though... so good luck Joel!

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Unread post by Nors05 » Fri 04 Jul, 2014 5:02 pm

I honesty wish him the best and hope he has a dramatic lift in form.

What was a bit concerning about the article was that he is concentrating on his attack? I think if he just concentrated on traditional hooker duties like defence and dummy half service he would develop better (armchair critic, I honestly have no experience to back up this theory).
Robbie is just a complete freak. He has the attacking flair of a half and can still back-up in defence for 80 mins+. He was a key cog in NSW's victory because of this brilliance...I don't think Luani needs to try and fill his shoes.

But IMO, you don't have to be like Robbie to be a great hooker. Matt Ballin being a perfect example. Nothing flashy, just solid defence, work rate and dummy half service. Cherry-Evans is a brilliant playmaker so as long as Ballin is controlling the ruck and defending like a brick wall, he need not worry about organising play.
I don't see why we shouldn't emulate this model with Luani. Once Brooks starts playing both sides of the field this could be a solid long term strategy.

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