After a mid-season transfer from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Robbie Farah returned to Wests Tigers colours in 2018 and showed he's far from done in the NRL.
Off contract at the end of the season, Farah admitted that retirement was certainly an option during the season and was potentially the likely option for him at the end of the year before a stunning return to the NRL at Wests Tigers proved that the veteran hooker still has plenty to offer on and off the field.
His involvement in the middle of the field — along with new recruit Moses Mbye — helped Wests Tigers turn their mid-season slump around with a string of stunning upsets that kept them in finals contention.
Ultimately, Wests Tigers would fall short in their quest for a first finals appearance since 2011 but that certainly wasn't down to Farah. The 34-year-old proved a match-winner in a number of close games, and incredibly finished third in the club's Dally M voting that year despite only featuring in nine games.
Along with fellow Life Member and Premiership winner Benji Marshall, Farah's on-field experience helped bring out the best in Dally M Halfback of the Year Luke Brooks and his focus for 2019 will no doubt be on helping do that again, but also in helping steer Wests Tigers back in to a top eight finish.
Currently sitting on 282 first-grade games, Farah could join the exclusive 300 club in 2019 but as sweet a milestone as that would be, one last trip to the finals would certainly be the best achievement of them all.
Farah presented with 250-game jersey
WHAT STOOD OUT IN 2018
While there was never any doubting Farah's ability to still contribute, his immediate impact on the side was certainly noticed and it was no coincidence that the team's return to form coincided with his arrival. Farah played big minutes in a number of games throughout the back half of the season, and his added creativity close to the line certainly proved key in close wins over the Dragons, Knights and Sea Eagles. Having another big tackler in the middle also allowed Coach Ivan Cleary to play Elijah Taylor out wide, which added another element to the side's attack, with Farah ending the season with a 93% tackle success rate.
WHAT'S TO COME IN 2019
In re-signing with the club, Farah made three things crystal clear. One, this will be his final season in the NRL — bringing to an end arguably the most iconic career in Wests Tigers colours. Two, contributing on the field remains the main goal and the constant measure for his success next year. And three, being able to help develop Jacob Liddle in to the club's long-term hooker and bring out the best in those around him remains front and centre of his mind. Certainly three great goals to have for the year ahead!
MILESTONES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
250 Games for Wests Tigers — Round 19 vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs, ANZ Stadium (21/07/18)
Most tries by a hooker in Premiership history (64*)