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Farah primed for one last showdown with Smith

Robbie Farah insists he will wait until September before making a decision on his playing future as the Wests Tigers great prepares to face off against old foe Cameron Smith for the 29th and potentially final time on Thursday night.

The 35-year-old hooker was at his crafty best in dissecting the Panthers defence with clinical precision on Friday night, prompting questions again as to whether he can go around again in 2020 for an 18th NRL season.

The leadership of Farah and Benji Marshall under coach Michael Maguire has propelled the Tigers into sixth position through nine rounds.

While Marshall missed five games with a hamstring injury and Farah has been managing a minor back complaint, the form of Farah in particular will ensure his chances of playing on remains a topic of discussion.

"We'll see how we go come September,” Farah said when asked whether he would play on in 2020.

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"I'm feeling pretty good. It comes with its challenges. I had a bit of an episode with my back a few weeks ago and was chasing my tail for a couple of weeks and not really getting much training under my belt.

“That was pretty hard but I've come out of the other end of that now and I'm feeling pretty good and the body's good again.”

This club has gone through mediocrity for a long time and everyone here is sick of it

Robbie Farah

Thursday night’s clash at AAMI Park will be the 29th meeting between Farah and Smith with the Storm legend holding an 18-10 advantage. The ledger reads 11-4 in favour of Smith in NRL matches.

"It's obviously been a great challenge. He's obviously one of the greatest players – if not the greatest player at the moment in our game,” Farah told NRL.com.

"He's someone who has always brought out the best in me. Those battles that we've had not only at club level but Origin and things like that, it drives you to better yourself and get better.

"It will be nice to come up against him again, maybe for the last time down in Melbourne.”

As the Tigers chase back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds 1-2, Farah spoke of the resilience that he and Marshall have been asked to help instil within a Wests Tigers team that has not played finals since 2011.

"As leaders of this club, it’s something that myself and Benji are trying to build here well beyond our time,” Farah said.

"This club has gone through mediocrity for a long time and we're sick of it. Everyone here is sick of it. 'Madge' has come in with a plan to change things around and he's really asked myself and Benji especially to drive those things along with Mo (Mbye) being the captain and the leadership group.

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"If we keep doing what we've always done, the old saying is you get what you always got.

"Things need to change around here. Whilst we've shown at times this year how good we can be we've also shown how poor we can be mainly in those two games against Parra and the Roosters.

"They're the things we need to scrap out of our identity here at the TIgers but it's something that we're continuing to work on daily even when we win a game.”