The rumour that the Raiders are going to sign Robbie Farah should be very worrying.
When Josh Hodgson went down in the World Cup last year the Canberra Raiders were looking everywhere for help filling his role. They settled on Siliva Havili and Craig Garvey, with potentially a smattering of Aidan Sezer.
There appeared to be a logic to this. Unable to replace the genius of Josh Hodgson, the Raiders were restructuring around other strengths – a powerful forward pack and a spine-tingling backline. Instead of a talented hooker being the focus of the attack, the new hookers would be seen but not heard. Their job was essentially feed the forwards and let the half back connect to the backline.
This was based on the idea that the Raiders were good enough in other positions to cover for Hodgson’s brilliance.
Instead there are rumours that Robbie Farah may be playing out the tail of his career in the nation’s capital.
If the Raiders plan in 2018 was to get the ball out of the dummy-half’s hands, this is the wrong way to go about it. Farah is happier holding on the ball than Russell Westbrook. If the Raiders plan was to bring him in for veteran leadership is dicey given Farah’s penchant for finding his coaches new jobs.
But more concerning this would essentially be a repudiation of the Raiders halves before the season began. Sezer, Austin and Williams are not stars, and many have made up their minds on them. But signing Farah is essentially the Raiders saying they don’t think they have the talent in Sezer and others to cover for Hodgson.
That would not bode well for this season. Because if you think these halves aren’t good enough to take this team to victory, adding Robbie Farah isn’t going to help.