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Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says there is a good chance that the injured Robbie Farah will play again



Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire says "there's a good chance" that Robbie Farah will overcome the crevice in the hamstring and play this season again – before he retires.

The real question is when, and obviously not this Thursday night against Manly in Lottoland.

And it's unlikely there will be a 23rd round against the Knights. But we all hope it could be September 24 at SCG against the Dragons or Round 25 against the Sharks at the Leichhardt Oval Spiritual Home.

Maguire stood in the sun in Leichhardt on Wednesday, assuming Farah's true options.

"There's a good chance," he said of whether the 300 game could play on the field within a month.

"I would never rule out Robbie because I spent a lot of time with him at several clubs [South Sydney, Tigers] and saw how professional he was in the background.

"It will be a close call to the back end of the season. But one thing about Robbie and what we've seen over the years will make everything play out.

"He's lucky to have a physiologic brother – he gets 24-7 treatments from his brother and here he gets everything we can do for him."

So when the competition ends after round 25, there is always a finale. The Wests Tigers are one win away from eight, with four matches played.

"We're alive right now – we're well and truly in tune with everything that's going on in the game. Robbie can see it guys, too," Maguire said.

The fact that Farah did not need surgery added another layer of hope.

"It's just a broken bone, so the key is the speed at which bone is repaired. It's on crutches right now – you're just removing the weight to allow it to heal," Maguire said.

Deputy No.9 against the Sea Eagles is Jacob Liddle.

Maguire has not named another courter on his bench, so Liddle has 80 minutes to impress.

"I'm really looking forward to Jacob coming out and going. He's been really professional all season," Maguire said.

"I saw him learn a lot and he got a really good understanding about the game, and now the thing is, how to use it."

Liddle made his NRL debut in 2016 but only played 37 games due to a series of injuries and then Farah's return to the club in 2018.

In addition to being given a chance, Liddle, Tommy Talau, son of former Bulldog player Willie Talau, made his debut at Moses Mbye Centers.

"Nothing better than to manage the blood of a young kid doing a lot of background work … it's really deserved," the coach said.

"I heard Moses was supposed to be out of season, but that's definitely not the case. He ran this morning. He just tightened his hip flex a little bit, so we'll see how he does next week."

As for Josh Reynolds, who was again voted No. 6 in the Canterbury Cup this weekend, Maguire did not see him as another option to help Liddle.

"Right now it's just about the balance of our bench." Grubby " [Reynolds] it's pretty close. He’s obviously playing, which is great and that’s the real key to him – just playing games.

"He was fantastic around the group, but right now it's about our lineup."

However, Maguire will be without striker Luke Garner, who lost his right to the NRL judiciary to avoid a dangerous contact charge over his late shot at halfback Bulldog Lachlan Lewis.

"It's disappointing with the attitude at play, but we'll be right," Maguire said.

"I understand where the game is going, but I hope it doesn't go with them too much. They try to figure out certain things in our game, but we've seen Andrew Johns, Johnathan Thurston, Laurie Daley – all those great halves – be able to get in line.

"It's a half-brother job – to go to the line. I hope the other way is not given too much.

"I understand the protection around our players – I'm very big on that – but also, what makes our game so great are those little men who can make fools of big men.

“So it takes a crescent that goes to the line and can show-and-go and play.

"You talk about split seconds and decisions about it. The speed at which it is played now and you tell your poles to go to the line all the time, at some stage they will get their hair cut.

"I understand there are some degrees of that. But I hope they don't go the other way too far or play touch football all at once."


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