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)

    • March 29th 2012 @ 10:16am
      PLANKO said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      Ok let’s just establish something right now…. Matty John’s is at this moment in time getting paid to provide foxtel subscribers entertainment. Tigers fan’s would be thinking and asking themselves every question that was asked. I don’t think he asked any unreasonable questions and I thought Robbie handled himself ok. He was a little immature he did take it personally but this is his “work”. I dont know to many people in their 20’s that are successful that don’t take criticism of their work personally.

      If you don’t want to answer tough questions don’t go on these shows. I hope the Tigers get better for their fans but the bottom line is they don’t do hard things well. When all of a sudden the game looks lost they relax and play brilliantly. eg Against Manly. I like watching them when they are not playing my team. You can’t relax against them. Go the tigers you great to watch and I hope you get more FREE to air time.

    • March 29th 2012 @ 10:20am
      Matt F said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:20am | ! Report

      100% agree Ryan. Farrah was very petulant last night. I didn’t think any of those questions were over the line at all, in fact we need more of them! Even the Benji and Tim Sheens questions were basically “rumours say this, what do you say about them.” Easy questions to laugh off if he wasn’t being so precious. His attitude isn’t exactly what most clubs would expect from their captain.

      Like you I also laughed at his “who made us faviourites” quip. Is he saying that they don’t believe that they can win the competition?

      The fact that anyone can consdider these questions to be over the top just shows how soft the standard of Rugby League journalism is generally. Some might say it’s almost as soft as the Tigers defence from Monday night…..

    • March 29th 2012 @ 10:21am
      Dawso said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      If I were a Tigers fan I would be pretty disheartened by Robbie’s performance on last night’s show. He didn’t seem like a guy who really understands how badly they’re going, why, or how it can be fixed. His mentality was almost ‘back off, everything’s fine’. Well it ain’t fine Robbie! I’m sure that’s how your supporters feel.

      There was some irony in the praise he had for his team’s scrambling. He was talking about tackles but scrambling is part of the Tigers DNA. In games they often fall behind and scramble in the last 10 or 15 minutes to pull off a comeback victory. It even exists over the length of a season, with the Tigers generally ‘scrambling’ a month or so out from to finals. This is when they tend to produce the footy we all know they’re capable of.

      But as the article points out, scrambling wouldn’t be necessary if there was no missed tackle in the first place!

    • March 29th 2012 @ 10:23am
      John Smith said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      Surely the insinuation that he and his teammates are soft is offensive? It is the biggest insult that you can give a football player, and to expect Farah to sit and cop that is ridiculous. He said what he was thinking, rather than just sitting there and saying – Oh, well we’re working really hard, and its a long season, it’s disappointing but we’ll be better next week etc.

      And to say that the question regarding Benji isn’t personal is ridiculous too. By continuing to ask that question, when both he and Benji have denied it for years on end, also infers that Matty thinks Farah is a liar.

      • Columnist

        March 29th 2012 @ 12:32pm
        Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        I’ll grant you the Benji point, John. Though it remains in the headlines, so Matty probably felt it was still a relevant question.

        However, asking a footballer about football matters is hardly offensive. The Tigers have 1 win and 3 losses. They’ve looked terrible. Most pundits feel they’ve been soft. What did Farah think he was going to get asked about? His jeans?

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

      Matty Johns is LEGEND

    • March 29th 2012 @ 10:31am
      Johnno said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      In Robbie’s defence, and i was wondering about it as i watched last night he is under a lot of stress right now. A highly media publicised withdrawal in the middle of a 4 nations tour last year as Robbie Farah flew home to be with his sick mother , who has cancer.
      I think last night some of the anger and fire robbie farad showed last nightwas due to the pressures and media scrutiny of his mothers health troubles was contributing to the tension on last night’s show between Matty and Robbie Farah.

      • Columnist

        March 29th 2012 @ 10:37am
        Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        I did think that myself, Johnno. Plus the fact he’s not 100% fit, and also suspended. All in all, I didn’t think it was wise for him to appear on the show, to be honest. He’s deserves credit for fronting the media and not shying away from his responsibility. But perhaps it would have been wiser if he simply didn’t.

        • March 29th 2012 @ 9:12pm
          Pete75 said | March 29th 2012 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

          I’ll keep it simple.

          Robbie’s performance was intemperate, and probably unwarranted. But I do believe he’s under a lot of stress. Injury, his mother, suspension and the performance of his team. He’s a proud bloke who is disappointed with the way things are going at the moment.

          Yeah, he could have done better. Most here know I’m a Tigs supporter so, disclosure done, I’m actually pleased he’s that passionate, even if I’d advise him to chill out a bit next time.

          • Columnist

            March 29th 2012 @ 11:32pm
            Ryan O'Connell said | March 29th 2012 @ 11:32pm | ! Report

            I appreciate the measured response Pete, especially as we’ve gone toe-to-toe on the Tigers before.

            I understand that Farah may be under pressure and that it may have contributed to his behaviour and responses. But part of being mature is knowing when you should and shouldn’t front the media.

            I too appreciated Farah’s passion, but he came across in a very bad way last night, that did himself and his club absolutely no favours.

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