West Tigers coach Jason Taylor has been widely criticised for dumping his highest contracted player Robbie Farah to the NSW Cup.
Plenty of reports have been describing the sacking as the result of a feud between them.
Everyone is so far off the mark. Do rugby league fans think for one minute Taylor would put his job on the line by dropping Farah because of a feud?
Taylor is too shrewd a rugby league brain to place his contract in jeopardy by getting rid of Farah to the detriment of the team winning.
Taylor said it was a hard decision to make, but he strongly believed his side had a better chance of beating the Dragons on Sunday afternoon at ANZ Stadium with Farah not in the side.
That’s a coaches call and despite the fact Farah is on 247 games in his 13th year with the the club. In that time he’s scored 284 points from 61 tries, 12 goals, and 16 drop goals.
The other reason Taylor’s been pilloried is for dropping the NSW Origin hooker. That too has a very valid reason behind it.
On form alone, Farah was the third best hooker in NSW behind the Sharks Michael Ennis, and Parramatta-Titans Nathan Peats.
The only reason Farah got the nod over Ennis or Peats for the three Origin games this season was the loyalty card given by NSW coach Laurie Daley.
But Ennis, in particular, was streets ahead of Farah on form.
The Sharks have won a club record 14 NRL games on the trot thanks to Ennis directing play.
He has turned the Sharks backline into performing better than the NSW Origin backline.
Interestingly, it’s been Ennis who has strongly supported his co-member of the hooker’s union.
“I am actually saddened by this situation, to be honest,” Ennis said on radio.
“I think Robbie’s been an amazing player at the club for such a long time (since 2003), and it’s disappointing to see such an icon of the joint venture end his career in this situation.
“He’ll always be remembered as a Tigers’ legend, he won a premiership there, he’s played Origin there, and he’s been captain for a long period of time,” Ennis added.
Lost in those Ennis quotes were the telling words:”He’s been an amazing player”.
Operative word “been“.
And that’s why Jason Taylor has dropped Farah, he’s not cutting the mustard.
Now all eyes will be on how the Tigers fare against the Dragons without Farah, with the Tigers needing six wins from their last seven games to make the finals.
Jason Taylor’s made his Farah call, and it had nothing to do with a “feud”, only his form, or lack of it. It’s up to Robbie Farah to find it again in Reserve Grade.