Ma­roons sniff ruse as Blues res­ur­rect in­jured Farah

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TODD BA­LYM

QUEENS­LAND power-bro­kers have taunted NSW hooker Rob­bie Farah as a rel­a­tive of Je­sus Christ if he be­lieves he can make a mirac­u­lous res­ur­rec­tion from a bro­ken hand to play the Ori­gin de­cider.

As Ma­roons coach Mal Meninga in­sisted Farah was un­likely to re­cover in time to play at Sun­corp Sta­dium next Wed­nes­day, chair­man Peter Bet­ros scoffed at the thought the NSW No. 9 would be fit.

“I see they’ve named Rob­bie Farah in the side and he is hav­ing surgery,” Bet­ros said.

“Rob­bie Farah might be re­lated to Je­sus Christ if he is go­ing to make a mirac­u­lous re­cov­ery from surgery to play.”

Ma­roons as­sis­tant coach Jason Hether­ing­ton warned Farah he would face a se­ri­ous ex­am­i­na­tion of any in­jury if he takes the risk to play only eight days af­ter surgery.

“It is hard ( to play with a bro­ken hand) if some­one steps on it,” Hether­ing­ton said.

“The pass­ing I think will be af­fected, more so with a bro­ken hand try­ing to catch passes would be the harder part.

“If some­one shows a weak­ness you try to ex­ploit it.”

Farah was named by the Blues in an un­changed Ori­gin III side, the first time in NSW coach Lau­rie Da­ley’s Ori­gin coach­ing ca­reer he has shown full loy­alty by re­tain­ing the same team.

But the Ma­roons de­tect a ruse, with Michael En­nis tipped to be the man rushed in next week de

spite Farah un­der- go­ing emer­gency hand surgery in Syd­ney yesterday.

Asked if he ex­pected Farah to play, Meninga con­ceded he didn’t think he’d play next week.

“Prob­a­bly not, no,” Meninga said.

The Blues added Josh Reynolds, Ryan Hinch­cliffe, Tariq Sims and Sione Mata’utia to their ex­tended squad, but it’s the likely ad­di­tion of En­nis that has the Ma­roons on high alert.

En­nis will try to fight a grade one high tackle charge at the ju­di­ciary tonight, but even if he is banned he can serve his sus­pen­sion for Cronulla on Sun­day then be a late ad- di­tion to the Blues next week when Farah is of­fi­cially ruled out.

The Ma­roons are adamant the Blues will ex­ploit the loop­hole in the NRL rules to rush En­nis into the NSW team.

It is the same tac­tic Queens­land used with Lote Tuqiri in 2002.

And while many thought the loop­hole was closed a decade ago, Bet­ros has no prob­lem with the Blues repli­cat­ing another Ma­roons tac­tic this week.

“They copy ev­ery­thing we do,” Bet­ros said.

Meninga said the prospect of noted nig­gler Reynolds in the Blues camp “doesn’t worry us”.

Pic­ture: BRETT COSTELLO

SURGERY BOUND: The Tigers’ Rob­bie Farah with an in­jured hand dur­ing the clash against Pen­rith at Le­ich­hardt Oval in Syd­ney.

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