15 Moments for 15 Seasons - No. 13

15 Moments for 15 Seasons

Wests Tigers are counting down the top 15 moments in the Club's history to commemorate with their 15th Anniversary NRL season.

As voted by the fans, here's Moment No. 13.

 

While Wests Tigers’ Round 25 clash against South Sydney Rabbitohs might not have gone according to plan on the field, the match was still memorable for the fans that had made their way to Allianz Stadium on August 30, 2013.

And the match was certainly special for two Wests Tigers players on the night as well — Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall — with the two inspirational leaders inducted as the Club’s first two life members.

For Marshall, it was the final chance he would have to pay his thanks to the fans that had made him into a Club legend. For Farah, it was the chance to etch his name into history and extend the continuity between his name and the joint-venture club — breaking the Club record for the most appearances (202).

It was a moment he still looks back on with great fondness.

“I think it’s something you look back on with a lot of pride,” said Farah.

“I’ve played over 20 years here — two-thirds of my life at this club — and it’s something I’m very passionate about. Anyone who knows me knows that I play with my heart on my sleeve, and this is a special club for me.”

“You never expect to play 50 or 100 NRL games at one Club; to play 200 is something I had never imagined or thought could happen.

“The night I became a life member is one I will never forget,” he said.

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Remembered by some as the night that the Burgess boys made history for South Sydney, Wests Tigers’ final home match of the 2013 season was expected to be a convincing win for the visitors as they pushed for a home semifinal.

Yet the match soon looked like turning into a huge boil-over, with Wests Tigers racing to a 18-0 lead after just 15 minutes. Tim Simona, James Tedesco and Ben Murdoch-Masila all crossed for tries in the opening quarter of the game as Sam Burgess went to the sin-bin, but the commanding lead was short lived.

An error from Lote Tuqiri gifted Souths a chance to hit back before half-time, and they did through Dylan Farrell — reducing the margin to just six points at the break.

Tries to both Sam and Luke Burgess saw the visitors storm back in the second half, with two tries in the final 10 minutes blowing the score out to 32-18.

That left both Farah and Marshall with mixed feelings concerning their milestones.

On one hand, there was frustration with a result, yet pride for achieving incredible feats for the joint-venture Club.

“Yeah, it was definitely mixed feelings,” conceded Farah.

“It obviously was tough to throw away a lead like that, but there was still something proud about achieving what I did with those friends around me.

“The best part about it all was the fact that I got to share it with the boys.

"Both the boys on the field but also messages from boys that I’d played with in the past, as well as legends of the Club. To get messages from Tommy Raudonikis, Noel Kelly, Keith Barnes— that just means the world to me.

“So achieving what I did on that night wasn’t just about what it meant to me, but also to all who played a part in my career to date,” he said.

“They should have a lot of pride in seeing me achieve that record [most games for the Club] and being inducted as well. I wouldn’t be where I am today without so many people — coaches, ex-players, anyone that’s helped in my development.

“Hopefully they can take pride knowing that they helped me get to where I am, and know that I’ll be forever grateful about what they’ve done.”

 

Check out the other Top 15 Moments:

15. Chris Lawrence's debut against Brisbane Broncos — 2006

14. Wests Tigers comeback against Newcastle Knights — 2001