Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor was full of praise for a couple of the NRL club’s departing stalwarts ahead of Saturday’s clash with St George Illawarra – Robbie Farah wasn’t one of them.
A fired up Taylor came out swinging at a media conference on Friday, refusing to answer questions on the Farah saga.
Taylor addressed the media pack before a question was asked at Concord Oval ahead of the clash with the Dragons at ANZ Stadium.
“As a club, we don’t have anything more to say on the Robbie issue,” Taylor said.
“So if you’re going to ask me questions on that … we might as well move on. If you want to ask me anything about the Dragons, then let’s discuss it.”
Taylor was happy to talk about Tigers veterans Keith Galloway and Pat Richards who will both continue their careers in the Super League.
But the big question is whether 31-year-old Farah, who has played over 200 games for the club, will play again for the Tigers.
“They are just a pleasure to coach those two guys (Galloway and Richards) and we really wish them all the best,” he said.
Club great Farah, who along with Richards won a premiership at the Tigers in 2005, was told last week his services were not required beyond this season, but if he wished to stay, he’d be playing reserve grade.
The move prompted Farah to produce one of his best performances for the Tigers in years as they dispatched the Warriors in Campbelltown last weekend.
Another man-of-the-match effort from Farah would put more egg on the face of Taylor who has been widely hammered by Tigers fans since the call was made on the skipper.
St George Illawarra come into the game after an embarrassing loss to Gold Coast, but cling to eighth spot and would need an absolute disaster to prevent them playing finals footy.
The Dragons sit one win clear of Manly and boast a vastly superior points differential to the Sea Eagles.
“They may not have to win, but they’ll be playing like they do, so there’ll be a bit of semi-final intensity about it,” Taylor said.
Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop remains in doubt due to a quad injury, while the Tigers’ Chris Lawrence has been ruled out of the clash with a pectoral muscle injury.
The Tigers’ win over the Warriors moved them to 14th spot and only a serious flogging by the Dragons would see them claim the wooden spoon.
STATS THAT MATTER
– A win in this game will secure the Dragons their first semi-finals berth since 2011.
– Five of the past seven matches between these two sides have been decided by 16 points or more and six of the Tigers’ eight wins this season have been by 16 points or more, including their 22-4 win over the Dragons in round two.