Farah plays down Origin showdown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Farah plays down Origin showdown

By Ian McCullough 30/04/2009 07:44:35 PM Comments (0)

Robbie Farah says he's pleased his State of Origin rival and Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis has been cleared to face Wests Tigers in the NRL clash at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Farah and Ennis will go head-to-head in a game that has been labelled as a shoot-out for the NSW No.9 jumper.

Despite the Tigers' rake insisting the game is not an Origin match-up, there is little doubt that whoever comes out on top will be favourite for selection for the opening match in Melbourne on June 3.

"I don't think it is a match-up ... Origin is still a month away ... this week all we have talked about is keeping our consistency," Farah said.

Ennis was found not guilty of a chicken-wing tackle on Canberra's Josh Duggan at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday, and Farah said facing a full-strength Bulldogs side will be a good test of the Tigers' progress.

"It is always good to play against quality players in your position and as a side it is a good test to see where we are at.

"The Dogs are at full strength and one of the form teams in the comp and this will be a good test for us."

Farah's coach Tim Sheens reiterated his claim that he wouldn't swap Farah for any other hooker in the game on Thursday but admitted he is a fan of Ennis.

"Brett Kimmorley and Ennis have got a great understanding and have been key to the Bulldogs good start to the season, we have prepared for the game with him playing and we know just how much of an influence on a game he can be," said Sheens.

Farah's premiership-winning team-mate Chris Heighington is looking forward to the clash.

"It will be a good spectacle to watch, the pair of them go against each other, Robbie has been playing some good footy and for the last three years he has been our most consistent player," said Heighington.

"I know Robbie is looking forward to it. We give him a little bit of bagging about all the attention but I know he is desperate to play (in State of Origin) and I hope he does."

The story follows a similar theme at the Bulldogs with coach Kevin Moore and Queensland prop Ben Hannant both full of praise for their man.

"It is going to be a great battle in the middle of the field, hopefully Mick gets the upper hand on Sunday. He is a big part of this team and we are just glad the judiciary made the right decision," Hannant said.

"There are probably three or four games before Origin and they just want to put their heads down and focus on their footy ... I know Mick wants to," said Moore.

"He has been tremendous for us all season and I have no doubt he will come up with another strong performance for us against the Tigers."

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