Statistics suggest West Tigers coach Jason Taylor is right about Robbie Farah effect on the team
CHRISTIAN NICOLUSSI, The Daily Telegraph
July 27, 2016 9:54am
MITCHELL Moses is a much more dangerous player when Robbie Farah is not playing for the Wests Tigers because of the hooker’s habit of drifting to the left side of the field.
Farah was not named for the Tigers to play against Parramatta on Saturday night, and is expected to play against Mounties at Cambelltown Stadium on Sunday.
Teammate Elijah Taylor backed Farah to eventually return, and said he had provided plenty of early ball to Moses and halfback Luke Brooks, which was a directive from coach Jason Taylor.
But The Daily Telegraph has obtained some key statistics that show Moses is the biggest loser when Farah takes the park.
Mitchell Moses doesn’t have the same effect when Robbie Farah plays.
The numbers almost vindicate Taylor’s unpopular decision to dump Farah, which now looks like a permanent one.
According to Fox Sports Stats, in the nine games Moses has played without Farah, he has made seven linebreak assists, 10 try assists, four offloads and eight forced dropouts.
In the eight games with Farah, Moses has made just two linebreak assists, three try assists, zero offloads and forced just three dropouts.
Farah tends to favour the left-side of the field, is a left-footer, and has no such problems feeding Brooks who plays on the left. It is why Brooks’ numbers do not vary with or without Farah.
But Moses plays on the right, and does not get his hands on the ball as often when Farah plays at dummy-half.
The decision to dump Robbie Farah has not been popular.
When Moses touched the ball more often like he did against St George Illawarra on Sunday, he was a star.
Elijah Taylor, who has spent time at hooker with Farah out, could almost sympathise with Farah given he was fit but still frozen out of first grade by Penrith coach Anthony Griffin earlier this year before he joined the joint venture.
“I’ve been in those shoes and it really tests your character,’’ Taylor said.
“All we can do is work hard with what you can control and that’s what I did.
“Then the opportunity at the Tigers came up and I took it.
“Robbie is great for the team. I’ve come in with a fresh set of eyes and he’s got leadership qualities, he’s an Origin player and he’s got experience, he knows the game inside out.
Elijah Taylor says he knows what Farah is going through.
“He’s a great bloke as well. It’s the coach’s decision and I can’t control that. I’m a player and I focus on my game to make sure I make the 17 each week.
“I think he will play first grade again, definitely. He works hard on his game, his experience comes to my mind.
“He’s the kind of player, when I’m warming up next to him before a game, he gives me confidence because I know how much experience he has.
“I think he will definitely be playing first grade again this season. He’s a club great.
“We’ve got some big games coming up, big games we must win. The experience that he has in controlling football games and controlling the tempo, especially in that position, he’s a master.’’