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Farah’s turn to join 300 club, but Wests Tigers need premiership points

He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but even his critic will politely applaud when Robbie Farah becomes the 39th player to reach 300 games this Friday night against the Newcastle Knights.

Farah, who has played every game for Wests Tigers this season, has once again been named in the number nine jersey by coach Michael Maguire for what will be his 274th game for the club, having also played 26 games for the Souths in 2017 and 2018.

The 35-year-old will become just the sixth player to reach the milestone having played for Wests Tigers. They include Chris Heighington, Scott Prince and Benji Marshall, who all played alongside Farah in the club’s premiership victory of 2005.

Farah’s total of 273 games for Wests Tigers remains the most in club history, while he has also captained the side in more games than any other player with 149.

And while 300 will be a great achievement for the old stager, the most important thing about Friday’s game as far as Wests Tiger are concerned is getting two vital premiership points to keep their faint finals hopes alive.

They are currently sitting just two points outside the top eight but could have been much higher had their performances been of a slightly higher standard.

The coach has done all he could to change the playing culture, but it hasn’t been enough.

A winning streak over the next half a dozen games is what’s required, but the question is: do the Wests Tigers have what it takes to make the finals and go deep into September?

This Friday night they will welcome back fullback Corey Thompson, who missed last week’s game with an ankle injury, while young prop Oliver Clark also returns to the side for the first time since Round 15.

Clark starts up front alongside Josh Aloiai, while Luke Garner and Michael Chee Kam form a new look back row.

Ryan Matterson shifts to lock, with Matt Eisenhuth dropping back to the reserves, while Alex Twal and Chris Lawrence are on the bench alongside Jacob Liddle and Thomas Mikaele.

Having won their past two matches at the venue, Wests Tigers have a good record in Newcastle with seven victories from their last 11 games there.
 
WESTS TIGERS ROUND 19 TEAM V NEWCASTLE:
 1. Corey Thompson
2. Paul Momirovski
3. Moses Mbye (captain.)
4. Esan Marsters
5. David Nofoaluma
6. Benji Marshall
7. Luke Brooks
8. Josh Aloiai
9. Robbie Farah
10. Oliver Clark
11. Luke Garner
12. Michael Chee Kam
13. Ryan Matterson
 
INTERCHANGE:
14. Jacob Liddle
15. Thomas Mikaele
16. Alex Twal
17. Chris Lawrence
 RESERVES:
18. Matt Eisenhuth
19. Tommy Talau
20. Chris McQueen
21. Josh Reynolds

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