We’ve got to take that next step, says Farah
Glenn Jackson
May 23, 2012

NSW will get their chance to turn the tide tonight in State of Origin I, and hooker Robbie Farah is one of 17 players who believe they are part of something special.

‘‘We can be a part of history or we can make history,’’ Farah said. ‘‘This team wants to make history by breaking this drought. That’s the challenge that’s been put up in front of us. We’re all looking forward to it.’’

On the eve of the first State of Origin, at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium tonight, Farah said he and his teammates sensed a turnaround after six series of Queensland dominance. Which of course they would.

But Farah maintained the belief in the squad had been growing.

‘‘There’s definitely a lot of belief in this team,’’ the Wests Tigers star said. ''They built a lot of momentum last year, even though the boys lost the series. They got that pride and that passion back in the state, and I think all the supporters up there started to believe.

‘‘In the past, the NSW supporters probably thought we were that little bit behind. I think we closed that gap last year and now we’ve got to take that next step, and win the series.’’

Farah will make his return to the squad, having played two matches in 2009. He is considered by some a key reason why the Blues can end the Maroons’ streak.

The Blues’ own streak is an attacking one, and Farah will be at the centre of it. He said he would not be making too many changes to his game for the more torrid football

expected. ‘‘My game will stay pretty similar,’’ Farah said. ''I’ve just got to get into the structure of this team.

‘‘We’ve got a good, strong forward pack. I’m looking forward to playing on the back of that. I’m sure the boys will get me some good go-forward, which will allow me to get out and play some footy as well.’’

Even more focus will likely be on five-eighth Todd Carney, from both his opponents and supporters.

That has its obvious perils for a player making his debut. But Farah said the players were not expecting too much from the rejuvenated Cronulla player.

‘‘I think we’ve got a few potential match-winners, but definitely he is one of them, and he’s showed that this year,’’ Farah said.

''Todd’s capable of winning footy games. It’s his first game. He’s going to be nervous. We’re not going to expect him to go out there and win us the game.

‘‘But we know if the game’s on the line, Todd can produce something for us. He’s in great form. The speed he’s got just troubles any sort of defensive line. If we can get him some good ball and he’s going at Queensland with any sort of speed, that’s really going to ask their defence some questions.’’

Personally, Farah has relished being back in a NSW camp.

‘‘I’ve loved every minute of it … it’s been a couple of years,’’ Farah said. ''It’s brought a lot of satisfaction to myself. But I also said when the team got named, I wasn’t just happy being here.

‘‘It’s a matter of, not just myself, but everyone here that’s been picked, going out there and playing their part in a good performance, and winning [tonight’s] game.’’

Ultimately, the rhetoric bubbling away over the last few months, weeks and days will mean little.

‘‘Everything … that’s been in the media this week, that all goes out the window as soon as the ball gets kicked off,’’ Farah said. ‘‘The story will be told in that 80 minutes.’’