Jason Taylor’s no dummy for dropping Robbie Farah

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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73 Have your say

    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?

    Absolute rubbish.

    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.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (73)

    • Roar Rookie

      July 22nd 2016 @ 5:49am
      up in the north said | July 22nd 2016 @ 5:49am | ! Report

      In Taylor’s defence he also said that Farrah’s selection was a week to week decision that will be assessed after the next game. The door is still slightly ajar.

      • July 22nd 2016 @ 10:03am
        Ken said | July 22nd 2016 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        That sounds pretty empty considering what else Taylor said directly, i.e..the team will be better with Robbie not there – too many cooks – that moving him to the bench improved cohesion and now he’s comfortable leaving him out of the team.

        Even if you ignore that Taylor did sack Farah before the season even started, it’s hard to imagine that any of those opinions are going to change ‘week to week’.

        • July 22nd 2016 @ 10:52am
          Joel said | July 22nd 2016 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          I’m absolutely sure if Farah learns to do what the playmakers are asking and keep his mouth shut he’ll play more games for the tigers

    • Roar Guru

      July 22nd 2016 @ 6:12am
      steve b said | July 22nd 2016 @ 6:12am | ! Report

      Tigers have won more games with Farah on the paddock fact!
      Tigers players will tell you that Taylor and Farah don’t see eye to eye fact!
      Their is an ongoing feud between the two and has been since Taylor’s appointment fact!
      I rarely agree with Andrew Webster but on this he is spot on it stinks Farah has his 250 game coming up Tigers fans should rightfully be angry at the way Farah is being treated.

      • July 22nd 2016 @ 3:44pm
        steve said | July 22nd 2016 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

        It would seem that history suggests Robbie Farrah doesn’t see eye to eye with any of his Tigers coaches. It seems as though Taylor will be next in the queue of coaches he gets fired.

      • Roar Pro

        July 22nd 2016 @ 4:09pm
        MrJSquishy said | July 22nd 2016 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

        Farah is being dropped because of form this year. The past doesn’t really matter. So, let’s look at the facts this year…

        Robbie has started in 6 games: Tigers have won 1 of those and scored at an average of 16.7 points per game while conceding 31.5 points per game. In two of those games, the Tigers scored 6 points or less!
        Robbie has started on the bench in 3 games: Tigers have won 2 of those games and scored on average 21.3 points per game and conceded 16 points per game.
        Robbie has not played in 8 games this season: Tigers have won 4 of those 8, scored an average of 23.4 points per game (more than any of the other combinations), but, have conceded 25.1 points per game.

        So, other than this highlighting that the Tigers need to learn how to defend, Farah is not making a positive change to this line-up. A very valid reason to drop him…

        • July 25th 2016 @ 6:34pm
          Jacko said | July 25th 2016 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

          Not true. Farah has played in 4 in the last 12 weeks and they won 3 and lost 1 where farah was KO’D. In the wins they scored more than 30 points per game. and Farah scored in 2 of his last 4 games so get your facts right as what you wrote is just plain lies to put crap on a player you personally dislike. And you list yourself as a PRO. load of crap

          • Roar Pro

            July 28th 2016 @ 2:59pm
            MrJSquishy said | July 28th 2016 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

            Jacko, the facts I wrote are facts…

            Yes, in the last 12 weeks Farah has appeared in 4 games of which they have won 3. I mentioned in my stats that Robbie had started 6 and won 1 (this year), came off the bench in 3 and won 2 (this year). All three wins feature in the last 12 weeks. However, in the first 8 weeks of the competition, Robbie played another 5 games and won none…

            If you want facts, see below:
            RD1 – 34:26 Tigers win (No Robbie)
            RD2 – 36:22 Tigers win (No Robbie)
            RD3 – 18:30 Tigers loss (No Robbie)
            RD4 – 0:8 Tigers loss (Robbie on bench)
            RD5 – 26:34 Tigers loss (Robbie started)
            RD6 – 16:18 Tigers loss (Robbie started)
            RD7 – 18:19 Tigers loss (Robbie started)
            RD8 – 6:60 Tigers loss (Robbie started)
            RD9 – 30:22 Tigers win (Robbie started)
            RD10 – 4:36 Tigers loss (Robbie started)
            RD11 – 20:12 Tigers win (No Robbie)
            RD12 – 19:18 Tigers win (No Robbie)
            RD13 – 18:32 Tigers loss (No Robbie)
            RD14 – 30:14 Tigers win (Robbie on bench)
            RD15 – Bye
            RD16 – 20:29 Tigers loss (No Robbie)
            RD17 – 34:26 Tigers win (Robbie on bench)
            RD18 – 22:32 Tigers loss (No Robbie)
            RD19 – Bye
            RD20 – 25:12 Tigers win (No Robbie)

            So, let’s do a count:
            Robbie started 6 times: 1 win, 5 losses
            Robbie on bench: 3 times: 2 wins, 1 loss
            No Robbie: now, 9 times (including last weekend): 5 wins, 4 losses
            Total points when Robbie started: 100 avg. of 16.7
            Points conceded when Robbie started: 189 avg. 31.5
            Total points when Robbie on bench: 64 avg. 21.3
            Points conceded when Robbie on bench: 48 avg. 16
            Total points when No Robbie (9 games now): 212 avg. 23.6
            Points conceded when No Robbie: 213 avg. 23.7

            My facts were perfectly fine. Maybe you should check what I’ve said before you call it lies. And with regards to the Tigers scoring more than 30 points per game when they won with Robbie, they scored 30 twice, and more than 30 once…

            Finally, the Pro status: that isn’t my call, that is the people here at the Roar.

    • July 22nd 2016 @ 7:11am
      JohnnoMcJohnno said | July 22nd 2016 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      The issue is nothing to do with whether Farah is the best hooker in NSW, the issue is whether Farah is the best hooker at the Tigers. He is, so Taylor is wrong. Again.

      • July 22nd 2016 @ 7:58am
        Dan said | July 22nd 2016 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        If he is incapable of playing to the coach’s game plan then, no, he isn’t.

        Taylor wants Brooks, Moses and Tedesco to run the attack. Farah doesn’t let them.

        • July 22nd 2016 @ 8:13am
          James said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          And The tigers have a better option at Hooker? I’ve notice no one is making the argument that moving Elijah Taylor out of position or old man halatau are better hookers then Farah.

          Farah is the better option without a doubt.

          • July 22nd 2016 @ 10:56am
            Joel said | July 22nd 2016 @ 10:56am | ! Report

            Brooks and Moses work better when Robbie isn’t there, because even the part-time hooker in Robbie’s place is delivering them the ball when they ask for it. It doesn’t matter how good Robbie Farah is or has-been, if he’s playing a different game to the halves then why would you pick him?

          • July 22nd 2016 @ 8:05pm
            Dan said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

            If Halatau or Taylor let Brooks and Moses run the attack and give them the ball as according to the game plan, then they are clearly a better hooker option.

        • July 22nd 2016 @ 8:26am
          JMarlin said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:26am | ! Report

          I haven’t heard Taylor say Farah is not playing to his game plan. He has more or less said the young guys don’t do what he wants them to when Farah plays, they are taking a back seat. That’s a pretty different scenario. (Long term tigers fan. Think the treatment of Farah over last 12 months has been deplorable).

          • Roar Guru

            July 22nd 2016 @ 8:59am
            Train Without A Station said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:59am | ! Report

            Didn’t they come out and say that they didn’t want a playmaker at 9 this week?

          • July 22nd 2016 @ 8:22pm
            Dan said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

            Taylor has made it very clear that who he wants to run the attack and that when Farah is on the field, it doesn’t happen. If that’s not Farah going against the game plan then I don’t know what is.

            • July 25th 2016 @ 6:37pm
              Jacko said | July 25th 2016 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

              Farah has made it very clear that he is happy playing to the game plan so if thats not Taylor lying I dont know what is. Taylors “gameplans” havnt worked at any other club he has coached at so why would they work here.

    • July 22nd 2016 @ 8:03am
      The eye said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:03am | ! Report

      Would anyone think for one minute that Taylor (at Souths) would put his job on the line by drinking all night with the players and turning up for training next morning drunk ? So far off the mark if you think after that official warning he’d do it again and have Fa’alogo
      knock him out…

      Ennis is a part of the Sharks..but he was there last year,when they were smashed out by the Cows and in the 52-6 humiliation the Blues took in game 3…Sharks are winning because they finally have halfs…Maloney and in particular Townsend have transformed this team..not Ennis..which in turn has impacted and brought Barba back to prominence..Have you really been watching ?

      Robbie’s current form is a product of HOW he is being forced to play under this coach..and How Much he isn’t saying on field and the time he’s actually getting…

      Robbie’s not the nicest bloke in the world because he won’t wear fools..and we’ve seen enough of that from the Tigers football management in the treatment of this club legend to last a lifetime

      • Roar Guru

        July 22nd 2016 @ 9:01am
        Train Without A Station said | July 22nd 2016 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        Was his previous form the fault of Potter and Sheens too though?

        If this problem only came about when Taylor arrived it would have merit but there have been murmurs of issues back to Sheens.

      • Roar Guru

        July 22nd 2016 @ 9:05am
        Train Without A Station said | July 22nd 2016 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        Taylor has nothing to gain by a personal feud with Farah. His career as a head coach hangs on the results of the Tigers.

        Robbie in his 2nd last year or NRL at a club that won’t contend for a premiership again in his career has more at stake than just the team’s results.

        I don’t know the full story, like nobody else here, but I do know that only one party has anything to gain by any issue being created at the club.

        • July 22nd 2016 @ 10:02am
          James said | July 22nd 2016 @ 10:02am | ! Report

          if it’s about his job he should put the best team on the field. are you going to make the argument that moving either Elijah Taylor or Halatau out of position to cover a position that doesn’t need to be empty?

          I get not liking the non-existent chemistry that our halves and hooker have but they are our best players and if he wants to win games farah should be in the team.

      • Roar Guru

        July 22nd 2016 @ 6:59pm
        Renegade said | July 22nd 2016 @ 6:59pm | ! Report


        I’m curious as I don’t understand where you are coming from or what you’re defending on this one.

        Are you defending him as a bloke? I don’t think anyone can defend him as a player on his form over the past 12-18 months… he is not at the standard right now.

        He is a Tigers great and he is probably still regarded as one of the best 17 in the club but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is in the best team.

    • July 22nd 2016 @ 8:40am
      Dogs857 said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      As a non Tigers supporter I might have to agree with Taylor on this one.

      To me (again I don’t watch the Tigers week in week out so it is only a casual observer) the Tigers play different footy when Farrah is not on the park. In fact I think they play better footy when Farrah is not on the park. This has been quite obvious to me watching the Tigers play this season, the game changes when Robbie comes on, and not for the better.

      Does this mean he deserves to be dropped to reserve grade though, it’s pretty tough. It’s not like he is in bad form, and he has turned up for that club through thick and thin.

    • July 22nd 2016 @ 8:55am
      johnnyball said | July 22nd 2016 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      Dogs, well said. I was going to say much the same but you nailed it for mine.

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