No place at Wests Tigers for Benji Marshall blues in 2014

Post Reply
Joe's Tigers
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun 06 Oct, 2013 9:59 am

No place at Wests Tigers for Benji Marshall blues in 2014

Post by Joe's Tigers » Sun 19 Jan, 2014 10:53 am

Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah. Picture Gregg Porteous Source: News Limited
LIFE after Benji Marshall was always going to be difficult at the Wests Tigers - but captain Robbie Farah never believed it would be this tough.

The question hanging in the air over Concord all off-season, is how will they cope without Marshall. And it's a question Farah is prepared to meet head-on.

But when the man earmarked to replace the former Kiwi international in the No.6 jersey went down with a knee injury during pre-season training, the club's playmaking concerns were laid bare.

"Losing Tim Moltzen was a blow as I believe he is a natural No.6 and would have been a good replacement . . . but we have other options," Farah said.

"Benji obviously won't be easy to replace and we won't really be able to answer that question until we get started and have to win games without him.

"The bottom line, though, is that he is gone and, great player that he was, we can't afford to dwell on him. We have to move on."

The past two seasons have been tough for the Tigers - and especially Farah.

When he arrives at pre-season training he will be surrounded by fresh faces and it will be his job as leader to help ease some of the code's best young talent into the cauldron of NRL football.

Despite a gruelling 2013, he is ready for the challenge.

"It was a very tough year for me, physically and mentally," Farah admitted.

"Luckily, I have no major injuries but there is a bit of wear and tear on the body.

"I've had a good break now and have done nothing for four or five weeks.

"To be honest, it got boring sitting at home and I'm good to go.

"I'm even thinking of playing in the Nines (in Auckland next month). It's a great concept and I'm excited about it."

Tiger's Robbie Farah during Wests Tigers training at Concord Oval, Concord . Source: News Limited

Farah is one of the few survivors from the 2005 premiership triumph and longs for a return to the glory days.

Many believe the Tigers have the best crop of young talent in the NRL and they are building a new era of success as they move away from the Benji years.

However, it's shaping as a long climb back.

"We have had a disappointing couple of years, there is no hiding from that, but I am also not going to make any outlandish predictions," Farah said.

"It's been a good build-up and everyone is working hard.

"You never say you can't make the finals and we know if we play well enough, we will be in the hunt."


"The kids got blooded last year earlier than expected because of injury and other factors and I think we will see the benefit of that this year," Farah said.

"They were thrown in the deep end and it wasn't easy, but they are a talented group . . . guys like Luke Brooks, David Nofoluma and Tim Simona.

"There are times they will play well and times they will play poorly, but they are the future of the club and we have high hopes for them."

Wests Tigers head coach Mick Potter with his assistant coaches David Kidwell and Todd Payten at Concord Oval ,Concord . Picture Gregg Porteous Source: News Limited

The former Bulldogs and Dragons fullback had a tough initiation to NRL coaching in 2013.

There was talk that Potter wouldn't survive beyond his rookie, yet the Tigers have shown faith in him.

Farah, though, lays the responsibility for a disappointing season at the feet of the players.

"It was a hard season for Mick last year and the way our season went didn't help him," Farah said.

"The knives were out for a while there, but he hung on and I believe he learned a lot during the season. He will be under pressure this year. So will we all, that is the nature of the beast in rugby league.

"We have to do better for him and we know that."


Farah still feels the pain of yet another series loss to Queensland and is determined to halt the Maroons' seven-year winning run.

It's one of the major motivating forces as he sets out on his 11th year of NRL football.

"We came so close last year but weren't able to get the result we wanted," he said.

"The last two years at Origin level has really hurt me . . . all the hype and then just falling short. It will be hard for the Blues this year with two games in Brisbane, but we have been getting closer and, if selected, I am confident we can push them again.

"I struggled a bit with my form (at club level) after Origin last year and I have set myself a challenge of changing that if I get the chance again.

"Origin is always a really testing time, mentally and physically. It's a great honour but takes a lot out of you and I have to work harder to maintain my form."

happy tiger
Posts: 41847
Joined: Sun 27 Feb, 2011 4:49 pm
Location: Watching Waiting Lurking

Post by happy tiger » Sun 19 Jan, 2014 11:03 am

Well we can't cope much worse than a 15th place finish is 2013

The only way is up baby

Post Reply