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Tigers hope Farah's back for Canberra

By Steve Jancetic 10/04/2008 05:02:07 PM Comments (0)

Tim Sheens is adamant Wests Tigers are more than just a one-man band, but that won't stop the veteran coach praying star hooker Robbie Farah makes the trip down to Canberra this weekend.

Farah showed no sign of the back injury which had plagued him in recent weeks as he survived a torrid training session at Concord Oval on Thursday.

Running, tackling and kicking all posed little problem for the NSW Origin hopeful, but now he faces his biggest test - sleeping.

"He was running very comfortably and I suppose the big question now will be how he turns up tomorrow," Sheens said.

"It's an injury that it's hard to say what caused it.

"It could be a bad night's sleep, it could be sitting in a car too long, it could be lifting weights or doing something silly at home.

"It's just one of those things you live with and manage. He has to manage it, the same way guys manage hamstrings and bad knees ... it doesn't mean he can't play."

And don't the Tigers need Farah back on the field.

His back trouble first flared against the Bulldogs two weeks ago, Farah resigned to the role of virtual passenger as the Tigers were towelled up to the tune of 32-12.

He sat out Monday's clash with Penrith and the Tigers were rudderless in going down 30-8.

Since 2005, Farah has missed six games with the Tigers, all but one of them ending in defeat.

While he compared Farah's influence on the side to that of Johnathan Thurston at North Queensland and Darren Lockyer at Brisbane, Sheens said the Tigers couldn't just rely on their crafty hooker to get the team back on track.

"Robbie's not a one-man band, we're not going to win games with just Robbie playing well, everyone else has to contribute," Sheens said.

"He hasn't achieved the number of rep jumper's they've (Thurston and Lockyer) got in their closet ... but he's very important to our team, he's as important to our team as they are to theirs."

It was a sentiment echoed by Tigers skipper Brett Hodgson.

"Farah has been our best player for the last year and a half," Hodgson said.

"We need him out there (but) hopefully we don't fall into the category that we can't win a game when Farah's not there."

Sheens described Farah's move to halfback for the clash against the Raiders as a temporary one, and hinted it may not be too long before former St George Illawarra No.7 Mathew Head takes over there.

Head looks set to travel to Canberra as a back-up should Farah's back play up on game day, the injury-prone Head having played the last two weeks for Wests Magpies in the NSW Cup.

"We are considering that, but I'd have to say Robbie will be short term and Matty might be the option after that," Sheens said.

"(Benji) Marshall won't be far behind that.

"What the halves combination will be in a month's time, I can't get that far ahead of myself."

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