Wests Tigers put it all on the line
August 25, 2009 - 7:50PM
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that’s just what Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah is counting on as his side puts their NRL finals hopes on the line against Gold Coast on Saturday night.
The Tigers can not afford any more slip-ups as they look to return to the finals for the first time since the club’s 2005 premiership, last Friday night’s loss to Parramatta leaving the joint-venture side on the doorstep of the last chance saloon.
“We’ve had our slip-up now, probably the only one we could afford, so it’s a must-win game,” Farah said ahead of the trip to Skilled Park.
"The pressure’s on us now to go up there and get the two points.
“Obviously (we’ve) slipped down a few spots, but we knew that (might happen), we’ve been playing do-or-die footy for a couple of months so nothing changes.”
Adding to the magnitude of the task facing the Tigers is the fact they are going to need to beat the sides placed second and third on the ladder with a depleted squad.
Their first choice back three of Shannon Gallant, Taniela Tuiaki and Beau Ryan are all out, while forwards John Skandalis and Chris Heighington have both been named despite being in serious doubt.
The desperation of the situation has forced the Tigers to role the dice at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night as they look to get prop Bryce Gibbs a downgrade on his dangerous contact charge.
Gibbs is facing a three match suspension for kneeing Parramatta winger Luke Burt while he was in the act of scoring, but can escape without a ban if the charge is downgraded from a grade two to a grade one.
“I just think its a bit severe - grade one would seem him not miss a game,” coach Tim Sheens said.
"I think it was accidental. I don’t think there was anything deliberate in it, so I think the grading is a bit savage.
"The forwards are a wait and see situation depending on judiciary and injuries.
“Skandalis and Heighington are the two major problems. We give John every chance, but Chris could be doubtful.”
Like Farah, Sheens was also of the belief his side could be advantaged by knowing there were no more second chances.
“Mentally, I think they’ll be a bit better this time, because we realise that we haven’t got any room for error,” Sheens said.