One-trick Tigers: Robbie admits club dwelled too long on '05 title GREG PRICHARD AND JAMIE PANDARAM
April 16, 2010
ROBBIE FARAH dreads the prospect of the Wests Tigers team of his era earning recognition as rugby league’s version of Vanilla Ice, the Knack, the Buggles, Right Said Fred and Survivor - another lamentable one-hit wonder.
The star hooker admits he is sick of talking about the 2005 premiership win. He says the Tigers dined out on it for too long and that they need to find a partner for it while they still have time.
‘‘We lived off that glory for a bit too long, I think,’’ Farah said. ''We looked into the past instead of working hard into the future. I think that was our problem for a couple of years. We need to create some new success and some new memories around here.
''I’m not happy with us winning just the one comp. That feeling in '05 was the best feeling I’ve had in my life, and I want to feel it again, but I think there was a bit of a feeling here of, ‘Oh, we won a comp, so we’re OK’.
''We were a bit too satisfied, because no one expected us to win, and we probably didn’t expect to win ourselves. We dwelled on it a bit too long. I think we’ve moved on from that now, and that’s good - we’ve got to forget about '05. That was a long time ago.
''We can’t live off that glory for the rest of our careers, or we’ll be known as the one-hit wonders, or we fluked it, or whatever. I hate even talking about it, to be honest.
''When people bring it up, even within the club here, I try to get them to shut up.
''We haven’t made the finals for the last four years - I’d like us to be talking about that, more than '05. ‘‘The last four years have been really disappointing, because I know how good we can be. All we can do now is look forward.’’
Asked what he thought of the team’s chances this year, Farah replied: ''I’m really optimistic. I think we realise now we have to make the finals and anything less than that is a failure. But not just make the finals - put ourselves in a position to win the comp.
‘‘You don’t want to finish seventh or eighth and go straight out the back door. We’ve started well and we’re finding a bit of consistency. Hopefully, we’ll still be sitting near the top of the ladder in three or four months from now.’’
Meanwhile, Tigers coach Tim Sheens warned that tonight’s opponents, the Bulldogs, would be a far more dangerous side now that their backs are against the wall.
‘‘We know Canterbury are going to turn up,’’ Sheens said. ''You know they are a better team than where they stand at the moment, and they haven’t been far away from winning.
‘‘They’re not playing disgracefully at all. I think we’ve scored 26 tries and they’ve scored 24, so they can score points. They are too good a team to be considered a one and four team, so we’ve got to respect the fact they can play, and make sure we turn up.’’
The match marks Steve Folkes’ first game against the Bulldogs since he finished as their coach in 2008. The Tigers’ conditioning coach had made the team well aware of the Bulldogs’ culture, Sheens said.
‘‘Steve knows the culture of the place, they’ve had a rocket this week as lots of their players have been put on notice,’’ he said.
‘‘Their pride is hurting and they’ve got a few injuries, and we’ve got a few injuries ourselves.’’
The thing that makes letting go of 05 easier is that we are (finally) building well.
We’ve had some big signings in Ellis and Lote, we’ve re-signed some of our big names, Tim is the current Australian coach and we seem to be stable financially - all of which says to me that more big signings aren’t far off. Some of the young blokes coming through are showing lots of promise and we have a number of players who could easily pull on an Origin jersey. We’re addressing weaknesses and showing some toughness in those close games. And we’re still the most exciting team in the comp.
Premiership or not, I’d say things are looking good.