Former New South Wales Origin teammate Tim Grant says the return of Robbie Farah to the Wests Tigers next Monday against the Eels is a timely one as they look to bounce back from Saturday night’s defeat at the hands of the Titans.
Leading 10-0 after 17 minutes it appeared that the Tigers would were well on their way to a perfect three wins to start the season, but they conceded 30 points in the space of 25 minutes to have the game snatched from their grasp.
After the game captain Aaron Woods said the Tigers “didn’t earn the right to play footy” as they sought to build on their bright start to the season, but Grant is confident the addition of Farah can bring stability to the Tigers’ attack.
Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor is confident Farah will have recovered sufficiently from a knee injury to take his place against the Eels in what shapes as an Easter Monday blockbuster, news welcomed by Grant.
“Robbie Farah’s world class and he has that structure and stability and calmness,” said Grant, who played two Origin matches alongside Farah in 2012.
"He’s been around a lot and done everything in the game and he’ll tip into us on the field and the boys look up to him which is another good thing.
"I was lucky enough to play alongside Robbie and the passion that Robbie plays with I really respect. Every day he rips in and does his best, he’s a mad competitor.
"I’m sure that we’ll learn each other’s game and he’ll learn how I want the ball and I’ll learn how he distributes the ball.
“It’s very important that the hooker puts you over the ad line and creates a bit of space for you and I don’t think there’s any better than Robbie Farah.”
Veteran Dene Halatau and youngster Manaia Cherrington have been sharing the hooking role for the Tigers for the past two weeks but Taylor is confident his star No.9 will be it to take the field against Parramatta.
“We hope he’s right for the next game. He’s close,” Taylor said. "He’s done what he’s needed to do up until this point to be ready to play next week.
“He’ll have a few more boxes to tick over the next few days but there’s no reason that he won’t be right to go come Monday week.”
The Tigers have been guilty of watching double-figure leads slip through their fingers in all three games to start the season but rather than serving as saviour, Taylor believes Farah will simply add to the existing on-field leadership.
“We’ve got some really calm heads in our team this year which is great,” Taylor said.
"‘Woodsy’ (Aaron Woods) is a really calm guy and does a great job with that and Tim Grant in particular has added something really special in regards to that leadership to our team so Robbie is just another one who is going to help us.
"The fact that the guys knew what they needed to do [against the Titans] and were calm about it is the most promising thing for me.
“In the end we saw that, we arrested it, but it was too late and went on for too long.”