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HEARTACHE OF LAST YEAR MAKES FOR A BETTER SIDE
By Wayne Cousins
14/09/2011 12:43:23 PM
The experience of playing finals football last season has made Wests Tigers a much better side 12 months on according to Captain and hooker Robbie Farah.
Farah was proud of the way his team-mates handled the occasion of last week’s second half comeback against premiers St George-Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium in the opening qualifying final.
“Guys like Rob Lui, especially as a young half-back, really stepped up to the plate on Friday night. Those experiences from last year definitely help,’’ Farah said.
“It was tough last year what we went through with the Roosters game and then the Dragons game. Both sort of losses you never forget.
Hopefully we can learn from it and draw from those experiences.”
One player who missed the finals through injury last year was Tim Moltzen but Farah says the classy back showed against the Dragons he was more than capable of rising to the occasion.
“Tim has been playing great footy at full-back and full-back is such an important position these days,’’ Farah said.
“He has his confidence back now. It was always going to take time coming back off a knee reconstruction.
“At the start of the year, he was coming off the bench and some games he was only playing 20 minutes, getting chopped and changed around in different positions.
“It was hard for him to find that fluency in one position. About 9 weeks ago, he got the start at full-back and he hasn’t looked back. He has been awesome and he has formed a really good combination there in the middle with me, Benji and Rob Lui.
“Tim talks a lot in defence and in attack. Full-backs have got to do that. They create the extra number so they have got to pick which side of the field to go.
“Timmy sweeping around the back there or supporting up the middle is a key to our play. He is a great talker.”
Farah said the Warriors will be a far different outfit to the one beaten by the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium when they take on Wests Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium in this Friday night’s semi-final.
“I don’t think we will be looking too much at last week. I think that was an off night for them,’’ Farah said.
“Over the last two months, they have been playing some great footy. They pretty much shot themselves in the foot a fair bit last week.”