As an NRL fan it’s easy to poke fun at funny situations. We remove ourselves from the business and logic of different decisions and just laugh because they’re funny. There’s no greater comedy fest than if a player leaves a club and finds themselves back only a few years later. You can’t make this stuff up. They left, everyone mourned and cried during their farewell and now they’re back. It’s absolute comedy gold. When you’re done laughing however, if you really care about the game you will reflect on the logistics. When breaking down those logistics it’s pretty clear to see that Robbie Farah returning to the promised land of Leichhardt is the best decision for both himself and the club.
Robbie Farah made his debut for the Wests Tigers at a tender age of 19 and went on to play 247 games for the club, cementing him in the hearts of many fans. In 2016 his dream of being a one team man began to crumble and eventually he was released from his duties to join the South Sydney Rabbitohs. He had gone from a man who owned the number 9 jersey to playing in and out of reserve grade and there was an opportunity for him at the Rabbitohs so he took it. Another man who had a point to prove however was Damien Cook. We all know how the story ends but in 2017 the two went back and forth fighting for the hooker position and when the 2018 season dawned, Cook was the successor. After his struggles at the Tigers in his final season once again Farah found himself in the uncomfortable position of playing for the North Sydney Bears and not the first grade team.
While this was happening over at South Sydney, Wests were enjoying their time in the top eight. The season started off incredibly well and every player was riding high in the successes under new coach Ivan Cleary. As time ticked on however, the reality that they were lacking a viable hooker began to settle in quickly. They were well and truly a different team than the one Farah left in 2016 however they were just lacking that extra power in the middle. Power which Farah could possibly provide?
When South Sydney took on the Cronulla Sharks in round 13 many fans were worried about the result due to the lack of origin players. Cook is definitely in contention for the Rabbit's player of the year so how would they go with out him and more importantly, how would Robbie go filling his shoes? The answer: amazingly. He is no Damien Cook yes but he was a perfectly fine replacement. He ran the ball when necessary, tackled hard and always ensured he was there to pass off from dummy half. He did everything a hooker needs to do which is everything the Tigers haven't had this season.
Now, we're still going through the logistics so stay with me. South Sydney adore Damien Cook. He's an absolute Godsend and has definitely done wonders for the club. Wests Tigers adore Ivan Cleary. He an absolute Godsend and has definitely done wonders for the club. South Sydney trust Cook and Wests trust Cleary. When you look at both sides of the story Robbie Farah signing with his beloved Wests Tigers was inevitable.
To the fans who are doubting, I understand. Imagine what some Parramatta fans were thinking when Brad Arthur welcomed Jarryd Hayne back into the blue and gold. In fact, you don't have to imagine because some were very vocal about their negative thoughts. Despite those who still like to hate for the fun, Hayne has not been a bad inclusion just as I believe Farah will not too. Right now the Tigers need a hooker. Their season is not written off yet and Cleary is trying something new. Before kicking up too much of a stink remember:
Farah has had a fair taste of rejection lately. This will have matured him and grounded him. Ideally this would have been good for his attitude.
Ivan Cleary was not Farah's coach in 2016. Jason Taylor is gone and Cleary owns the thrown. Trust your new coach, please.
The Wests Tigers are a different team than they were in 2016. They can see the prospect of finals football shining brightly and will do anything to get there. They have talent and lots of it. Farah will only help that.
There you have it. Enjoy the laughter of the comedy show that the NRL is but also stay logical. The photo of Robbie up on the scoreboard at Leichhardt will always be absolute masterpiece but if I were a Tigers fan, I’d definitely be more excited about the potential future masterpieces to be added to the collection in 2018.
Have another cold one for us Robbie, welcome home mate.