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Farah’s Blues pain drove him to greater heights
Glenn Jackson | October 10, 2009
THERE’S been something gnawing at Robbie Farah’s gut far more ferociously than nerves or even the kebabs that bear his name. Searching for some sort of atonement since being dropped from the NSW side before it won game three of the Origin series, the hooker got it this week when he edged out the player who took his Blues place, Michael Ennis, for the Australian squad.
‘‘After my second [Origin] game, I was pretty disappointed in my own performance, and not getting the chance in the third Origin to redeem myself hurt a bit,’’ Farah said. ''I’m a tougher judge on myself than anybody else can be, and I was pretty disappointed in myself.
‘‘Now I’ve got a chance to represent my country, and if I do get a game over there [in Britain], I’ll make sure this time around I give it a good crack and I do a better job.’’
Farah played in the opening two State of Origins this year, both lost by NSW, before Ennis helped the Blues atone by winning the third. Farah said he used the snub as motivation for his form with the Tigers, which has led to him landing the back-up role to Cameron Smith on the Four Nations tour to Britain.
An impressive performance for the Prime Minister’s XIII in Papua New Guinea sealed the deal.
Having his club coach Tim Sheens as the national one no doubt helped his cause, but in more ways than the cynic might observe; Sheens was instrumental in how Farah responded to his sacking from the Blues.
‘‘It never leaves your mind,’’ Farah said. ‘‘It spurred me on in the second half of the year, to make sure that it didn’t break me. I spoke to people around me, especially ‘Sheensy’, and they said you can drop your head and go backwards or you can use it as motivation and push yourself to prove people wrong. I’d like to think the second half of the year, I bounced back well from that disappointment. It was tough handling that, but I’d like to think I’ve come through a better player and a better person and I’ve learnt from the experience.’’
Farah, though, is not seeking any miracles. He accepts Smith will not be budged easily from hooker, and the 25-year-old is approaching the tour with ‘‘no expectations’’.
‘‘I’m just going to enjoy it, try and learn as much as I can,’’ he said. ‘‘Some of the best players ever to play our game are going to be on tour, guys like ‘Locky’ [Darren Lockyer], ‘JT’ [Johnathan Thurston] and Greg Inglis. Being around those blokes, hopefully I’ll learn a lot. I’ll be happy to get a game from there. A cap for Australia will be unbelievable. But no expectations. If I could make the bench, it’d be unbelievable. But there’s a lot of utilities in the squad - [including] Kurt Gidley and Cooper Cronk. I’m just enjoying the moment now. One game would be great.’’
So did Ennis help the blues win before or after he got hooked 22 minutes in?
Saw Robbie last night in Balmain and it got our table talking about him and Ennis. Got quite heated, half of us were saying if Robbie played in the 3rd Origin behind that dominant pack he would have killed QLD, and the other half were supporting Ennis. I couldnt believe a Tigers supporter would have Ennis over Farah.
I’m not one to judge people on their opinions, but if someone rates Ennis over Farah, they are stupid. No other way to put it really. It’s like comparing Travis Burns to Darren Lockyer.