No more second chances.
That’s flu-ridden Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah’s blunt warning as his embattled joint venture team prepare to face premiers Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night in a must-win NRL clash.
Farah’s troops could hardly appear in worse shape to meet the Roosters, coming into the match off their second biggest loss – a 64-6 hiding at the hands of North Queensland – on the back off the corrosive internal ructions swirling around the skipper, CEO Grant Mayer and the future of coach Mick Potter.
“We’ve got to win four from four to give ourselves any chance,” Farah said on Friday.
“That all starts tomorrow night. We’ve used up all our second chances now, so they are all must-win games.”
Farah said he would definitely play despite not training earlier in the week and taking antibiotics together with cold and flu medication.
Potter was equally blunt about the stakes for Saturday’s match, with the 12th-placed Tigers sitting four points outside the top eight.
“If we don’t win, we might as well just hang the boots up,” Potter said.
Halfback Luke Brooks was undergoing a late test on his shoulder, though Potter emphasised he wouldn’t take any risks with the gifted youngster.
Farah was adamant the Tigers weren’t being distracted by internal issues after the revelations last week he had sought counselling and taken stress leave from training following his criticism of Mayer.
“Within the group we’re fine,” Farah said.
“Obviously we’re more disappointed with how we’re going on the field and that’s what we’re concerned about.
“We’re not too focused about everything else that has been written, and things like that, because as a group we’re tight.”
Asked if the team was playing for their coach Farah said “of course, no doubt.”
“The best chance we can give the coach is by finishing as high up the ladder and making the finals and that relieves the pressure on everyone at the club.”
Potter was adamant he wasn’t being set up as a fall guy for the Tigers’ problems and hoped the continuation of his tenure beyond this year wouldn’t just hinge on the next four games.
“I like to think regardless of what happens in the next few weeks that I’ll be judged on where we were before we copped a whole heap of injuries,” he said.