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Robbie Farah needs to grow up

Ryan O'Connell Columnist

By Ryan O'Connell, Ryan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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    Robbie Farah, always one to court controversy. (Image courtesy FoxSports)

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    Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah appeared on NRL on Fox last night, and displayed the petulance of a teenage girl grounded for smoking. Whilst some fans have defended Farah, saying that he showed some real fight, the truth is that he came across as petty, sensitive and immature.

    If every Wests player was as defensive as Farah was last night, the Tigers wouldn’t have had a try scored against them this season.

    Matty Johns grilled Farah right from the get go, but the questions were neither personal nor offensive. They were the questions every NRL fan, let alone Tigers fans, wanted answered. Yet Farah took them as a personal affront.

    For those that missed the show, some of the ‘highlights’ included:

    After Johns asked about the Tigers being premiership favourites, Farah got the interview off to a frosty start by snapping back “Well, who made us favourites, Matty?”.

    I’m not even sure what that answer means. Is he suggesting that the Tigers aren’t that good?

    When Matty suggested the Tigers have been soft, Farah replied that “Our footy hasn’t been soft, it’s definitely been disappointing.” Half right Robbie. You’ve been soft and disappointing.

    When Matty said that the Tigers missing 48 tackles against the Raiders was soft, Farah replied “Yeah, but did we scramble well?”. I have no idea how anyone could think that’s a defence for being soft.

    If you defend well and aren’t soft up the middle, you don’t need to scramble. I’m sure Timmy Sheens didn’t re-watch the game and say “Gee our scrambling was good!”

    When Matty said that the Dragons punched straight up the middle against the Tigers and that it was soft, Farah replied “That’s your opinion, mate. I’m sure people have their opinion on you.” Wrong Robbie. That’s not opinion, its fact. And there was no need for the personal rebuttal on Johns.

    The interview went on with Matty asking questions about Farah’s relationship with Benji Marshall and rumours they’ve fallen out, whether Timmy Sheens has the support of the playing group, and the club potentially signing Willie Mason. Farah handled all those questions, to his credit, very well.

    Especially when he said the rumours surrounding him and Benji are ‘bulls*t’, and that they only surface when the club has lost a few games.

    Farah’s point that no one is more disappointed with the Tigers form than the players themselves was also one of Farah’s better moments.

    At this point it seemed like Farah had calmed down, got control of his emotions and realised that the questions weren’t personal, but insightful.

    But as the interview wound down, Farah said to Johns “We used to be mates”, before then unleashing with the comment: “I love a good ambush”.

    Not content with that little outburst, Farah then took to Twitter and tweeted: “Just got ambushed on NRL on Fox. Pretty fired up ATM to be honest and pretty pissed off. Wanted to unleash more then I did.”

    Robbie, it wasn’t an ambush. Matty Johns asked all the questions that rugby league fans wanted to know.

    They weren’t personal, they weren’t insensitive, and they weren’t offensive. Furthermore, Johns halfway through the interview revealed that he had told Farah what questions he was going to ask.

    As for Farah wanting to “unleash more”, what exactly was left unsaid? He is suggesting he would have gone after Johns even more?

    If Farah wanted to go on a show and have a giggle and talk about his restaurant, then he appeared on the wrong footy show. NRL on Fox is a serious rugby league show for serious rugby league fans. It’s been a revelation this year and provided viewers with real insights about the NRL.

    Sadly, the main insight from last night’s show is that Robbie Farah is petulant, sensitive and overly-defensive. C’mon Robbie, grow up.


    Ryan O
    Ryan O'Connell

    Ryan is an ex-representative basketballer who shot too much, and a (very) medium pace bowler. He's been with The Roar as an expert since February 2011, has written for the Seven Network, and been a regular on ABC radio. Ryan tweets from @RyanOak.

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    The Crowd Says (94)

    • Columnist

      March 29th 2012 @ 9:26am
      Brett McKay said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:26am | ! Report

      I didn’t see this last night, but saw the Twitter storm afterwards. The first and only thing that came to mind was, “Ha!”

    • March 29th 2012 @ 9:27am
      Chris said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      Couldn’t agree more. Farah needs to grow a pair.

      For too long, NRL players have been used to the ‘I want to be your best mate’ style of questioning that passes for sports journalism – a la Danny Weidler. It’s refreshing to see Johns as these sorts of questions, and I hope he persists and inspires some of his colleagues in the industry to follow suit.

      • Columnist

        March 29th 2012 @ 9:52am
        Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:52am | ! Report

        I strongly concur.

      • March 29th 2012 @ 11:50am
        Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        Well said, Matty Johns did a terrific job of doing what’s paid to do….Farah sounded like a teenage girl and then acted like one by posting comments on twitter.

    • March 29th 2012 @ 9:31am
      sledgeross said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Farah did whatever a good skipper would do, and look after his teammates.
      If Matty Johns makes statements and hides behind the Old “rugby league circles” line, then he deserves what he gets. If you want to bag blokes Matty, at least have the balls to say its your opinion instead of hiding behind the masses.

      • Columnist

        March 29th 2012 @ 9:51am
        Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        Matty did give his opinion – he said the Tigers had been soft.

        The one thing Matty Johns definitely didn’t do was hide – he asked tough questions, and had the guts to ask them. Right to Farah’s face, I might add.

        • March 29th 2012 @ 1:04pm
          Will Sinclair said | March 29th 2012 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          Ryan – when Johns brought up the questions about Farah and Benji falling out, and about Sheens losing the senior players, Robbie asked: “Where did you hear that”.

          Johns responded: “Rugby league circles”.

          That response was as weak, and soft, as anything turned in by the Tigers this season. If Johns is going to make those sorts of comments, he at least needs to back them up.

          • March 29th 2012 @ 1:17pm
            Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

            What’s he supposed to do…snitch out the mate he heard it from – it’s all rumour in the end anyway.

            Your a tigers supporter and i think your blaming the wrong person mate….Johns was just doing his job.

            I’d rather hear those questions than some idiot on the footy show saying “Robbie, your one of the best players in the game you must love your origin chances??”….which is just pathetic because farah is the most overated player going and shouldn’t be mentioned in the top 25 or maybe even top 50.

          • March 29th 2012 @ 1:43pm
            st penguin said | March 29th 2012 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

            Is that you Robbie?

          • Columnist

            March 29th 2012 @ 1:54pm
            Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            With all due respect, that’s absolute rubbish, Will.

            The truth is that rugby league circles have been awash with these rumours. We’ve all heard them, haven’t we? Does that mean they’re true? No. But sometimes where there is smoke, there is fire.

            And I find it hard to believe that anyone who sits 20cm away from the person they’re asking a question to could be ‘hiding’ or ‘soft.

            • March 29th 2012 @ 3:31pm
              Will Sinclair said | March 29th 2012 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

              We’ll have to disagree on this one Ryan!

              Re-hashing an unfounded rumour – that’s been denied a hundred times – and presenting it as a legitimate question is not fair game in my book.

              It’s been raised before, and denied before. Nothing to be gained by raising it again, except to provoke a reaction from Farah.

              • Columnist

                March 29th 2012 @ 3:55pm
                Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

                And to Farah’s credit, I think he handled that question extremely well.

                Let’s be honest though, that question came a long time after Farah had already fired up about other questions. It was probably the one question that didn’t need to be asked, but to hang Johns out for that is a bit unfair.

            • March 29th 2012 @ 10:56pm
              adam said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

              Sorry this is a poor article. A very one sided report on a situation where there were two parties giving as good as they got.

              Robbie Farah could have been a bit more professional in his answers, but you have quoted his answers that were a bit “childish”, for want of a better term, but then not quoted the questions and answers afterwards from Johns that were unprofessional on his part.

              Personally, I don’t blame Farah for being annoyed. he’s right. The same rumors start every year, and they are created by the media to write stories, they are completly baseless, clearly.

              If we are starting rumors, I think Johns does have issues and maybe they are with Marshall. The sly “being called a d##khead, now I know how Benji feels”, that was subtle, but not too subtle. Maybe that stems from the charity cricket match and Johns connection to the Eagles, or maybe Benji refused to come on his woeful CH 7 Show

              • Columnist

                March 29th 2012 @ 11:28pm
                Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:28pm | ! Report

                Hang on a second, when did I ever quote Farah as being ‘childish’? Do not put quote marks over a word or statement that I never actually wrote or said.

                Not that I don’t think he wasn’t, but it’s a little irresponsible to quote me on something I didn’t say.

                As for the ‘same rumors start every year’ comment, can we please try to concentrate on the main issue? I presume you’re talking about the Benji stuff, which was a minor part of the interview. The majority of the interview was focussed on the perception that the Tigers being soft.

                That’s not a rumour, I can assure you.

      • March 29th 2012 @ 11:52am
        Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        You wouldn’t be a tigers fan would you??

        Johns “tigers are soft”…..didn’t look like he was hiding to me. His said it every week on NRL on Fox this year and said to Robbie’s face as well.

    • March 29th 2012 @ 9:33am
      James said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:33am | ! Report

      You mentioned a few times that they ‘weren’t personal’ which I strongly disagree with. The BS questions about him and Marshall have been going on for the better part of five years, how many times do they have to say that there is nothing wrong? I’d get frustrated answering the same question everytime the team plays poorly.

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      • Columnist

        March 29th 2012 @ 9:49am
        Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:49am | ! Report

        I agree on the Benji question, James. And to his credit, I thought that’s when Farah handled himself the best – and I wrote exactly that.

        The rest of the questions were about rugby league. As a footballer appearing on a football show, that can’t hardly be deemed as personal. What did he think he as going to be asked?

    • March 29th 2012 @ 10:02am
      Johnno said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:02am | ! Report

      I much prefer NRL on fox, to nine’s footy show. It is 1 hour it stays on schedule doesn’t go over 1 hour which i think is this the perfect amount. the footy show says 1 and a half hours on nine but it used to before someimtes almost go too 2 hour when it was done live. The show would get lost , as it wen ton for so long and everyone the hosts got tired. And all the ridiculous antics, with weird subliminal messages and opinions it was sending out about society issues or narrow mindedness or the dumbing down on Australians a kind of bogan agenda one could say.
      Frankly i have looked at some of the old 9 footy show highlights this morning and frankly am very embarrassed i used to find some of it funny and actually watched the show every week.

      NRL on fox is great this year. It is fast, straight to the point, 1 hr no BS it finishes on time, and talks about serious football issues, and does not get too sidetracked in silly in jokes, or players rambling about past glories or other agendas or rambling about nonsense and having a big boast about there golf game or what lunch they have been invited too.

      I notice whiz is not on fox this year or wayne pearce. I liked wayne pearce but did find whiz at times a bit over the top.

      But like the chemistry between MG,Warren smith, and matt johns, and liked Ben Ikin last night he gives a good refreshing angle a QLD angle which is good too provide balance as he really knows what is going on up in QLD especially some of his feedback on the gold coast titans dramas was good.

      So I hope they keep this sharp to the point 1hr format, and not have the show deviate and go down the 9 footy show where it just descends into nonsense and sheer embarrassment watching adult men behave like teenagers. I for one much prefer this NRL on fox, too fatty, and mario. But i do like the big marn, and would be happy to see him on fox. The big marn can be serious and adds some nice touches of humor.
      I would of kept dell on the footy show and told him to be serious he has impressed me on ten’s the breakfast. I would of kept the league lounge though on sunday night i thought that show had potential.

      • March 29th 2012 @ 11:54am
        Renegade said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:54am | ! Report

        I agree, i think it’s now the best rugby league show on TV since channel 9 decided to stuff the Sunday Roast (pardon the pun)…. 😉

        • March 29th 2012 @ 12:07pm
          Johnno said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          they sure did renegade stuff the roast real good. Channel 9’s footy show is now embarrassingly bad. How could anyone watch it they must be getting falling ratings. Ray hadley has been revived on the footy show i never would of thought that happening. Fatty has lost a lot of authority on the footy show now, to slater, the big marn, and bolts hadley. Fatty was once untouchable now he looks vulnerable on the footy show.

        • March 29th 2012 @ 12:52pm
          Gerry @ YourLawnAndGarden said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

          No need mate, it was good pun, pardon the pun!

        • March 29th 2012 @ 4:44pm
          nickoldschool said | March 29th 2012 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

          Agree Ren. No time wasted, lots of facts and questions, love it. I think Matty Johns was good last night, never aggressive but asked the questions he had in mind, which is what we expect journos/tv hosts to do. If players want to answer their own questions, they should call a press conference and give their PC statements. Great show.

    • March 29th 2012 @ 10:07am
      Gareth said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      The questions about his standing with Sheens and Marshall are basically Dorothy Dixers. It gives Robbie the opportunity to laugh off the rumours, assure everyone that nothing untoward is happening behind the scenes and show that the Tigers are a steady ship despite some poor results so far this year. Hardly an ambush.

      As for the rest of it, I can understand that that line of questioning might rile a player up, but it says more about the type of questioning Farah has grown accustomed to. You don’t see Nathan Hindmarsh backing down from criticisms of the Eels attitude.

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