NRL: The most important distinction in the Wests Tigers imbroglio
The entire Robbie Farah-Jason Taylor debate is split along mostly predictable lines – respect for a club legend versus the right of a coach to make a decision that is best for the team.
But in much of the myriad comments and articles regarding this engaging soap opera, a key distinction seems to have been overlooked.
Those siding with Taylor will – quite reasonably – argue he has to do what he can to win games … and then mention almost in passing that Farah takes up a lot of salary cap space and the club is clearly trying to force him to walk.
Erm, as they say in the classics … hellooo?
These are two very different motivations. On one hand, if Taylor believes omitting Farah is going to aid Wests Tigers’ chances of winning games then, no matter how unpopular his decision, he is duty-bound to leave him out.
But trying to make a player leave by omitting him, or – as Farah alleged on Saturday – provoking him into a disciplinary breach is disingenuous and abusive.
Only the most cynical observer would support an action based on this motivation. Of course, there may be an element of truth in both interpretations.
Wests Tigers success on Sunday against St George Illawarra supports Taylor’s contention that a side without Farah can accrue victories.
But Farah’s own pedigree suggests there should be at least a place for him on the bench.
The bottom line is that if Taylor is being honest about his motivations, and they are backed up by results, then history will judge his tough call well.
But if the fullness of time uncovers other agendas, and if the club does try to dispose of Farah without his full financial entitlements, then the game’s annals will not be so kind to him.
And neither will most Wests Tigers fans.