Robbie Farah’s comeback game to Leichhardt Oval last year didn’t quite go to plan but after leading the Wests Tigers to a 20-6 over win Manly on Saturday the hooker was savouring the occasion.
The 35-year-old scored two tries in the impressive victory and was cheered from the ground by the 13,159 fans that defied the rain to watch the Tigers' first game under new coach Michael Maguire.
Farah and old mate Benji Marshall are the last remaining link to the glory days of the 2005 premiership and the veteran No.9 has vowed to make every moment count when he gets the chance to play at Leichhardt in 2019.
"It's something I never thought would happen so to come back here and score a couple of tries... after that second try when the crowd was going off I took a moment to soak it all in,” Farah said.
"These moments are running out for me so I'm just trying to lap them up when I'm here.”
The Tigers trailed 2-0 at the break before Farah sparked them into action with a try in the 48th minute and then the sealer in the 66th minute with a trademark cross field run out of dummy half.
"It wasn't our best performance but it was pleasing to get a win at Leichhardt considering our record hasn't been the best here in the last couple of years,” Farah said.
"I just have a smile on my face every time I show up here.”
Maguire praised Farah's leadership and said he was always confident that the former Test hooker could play the full 80 minutes.
"He's had an outstanding pre-season. Off the back of what we've done he's led the way in many things that we've done and he did a great job for an old boy – he actually looked like a young kid out there,” Maguire said.
"He's had a few great wins on this field over time and he knows where to kick the ball and how it stops and starts.
"He's just really enjoying his footy and that's one thing I get out of the senior guys that they're just really enjoying what they're doing and if they're doing that then we'll keep growing.
"One thing about those boys is that it’s not about them any more it’s about what they can do for the club and that's something that's really stood out over the last two to three months.”
Former NSW Origin five-eighth Josh Reynolds was withdrawn from the club's Canterbury Cup team to be 18th man for first grade but did not get an opportunity to play.
"It was a tough decision to not allow Josh to play,” Maguire said.
"At the end of the day we are here to produce on the park and it’s a selfless act there that he had to put himself in that position to be ready if someone got injured.
"Moving forward it's patience and time and I'll look at this week and look at where we need to improve but I know he's working hard in the background.”