Robbie Farah of the Tigers passes during the round nine NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Cronulla Sharks at Allianz Stadium on May 10, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
Robbie Farah of the Tigers passes during the round nine NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Cronulla Sharks at Allianz Stadium on May 10, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Why was Farah in our team?

IF TIM Sheens is fair dinkum about winning the World Cup - and we would expect that to be a given - then the Australian coach needs to stop playing favourites.

The Kangaroos had a solid win over England in the early hours of yesterday morning to get off to the perfect start.

Sure they were rusty, especially in the opening 20 minutes, but that was to be expected with the majority having not played for at least five weeks.

And unless the Kangaroos have an inexplicable meltdown between now and the final, they will not be seriously challenged again until they meet either New Zealand or England in the decider.

But Australia is no shoo-in to win the tournament.

In scoring four tries against the Kangaroos yesterday the Poms showed glimpses of what they can do, and in my book the Kiwis are the team to beat.

Because of that Sheens has to pick his best-possible team, get combinations working and have the Kangaroos at their peak for the final.

And the question needs to be asked - does Robbie Farah fit into that equation?

To be fair, he was not a weakness when he came into the game against the Poms.

He played the final 22 minutes at dummy half and his service was as clean as clinical as always. But why was he there?

When Farah came on he replaced Greg Bird and even though skipper Cameron Smith remained, his role as the composed conductor became virtually extinct.

After a decade-long association at Wests Tigers it is understandable the Sheens-Farah relationship is a strong one.

But this is a desperate Australian team looking to win back the World Cup they surrendered four years ago, in rugby league's centenary year.

There is no place for nepotism.

Cameron Smith is Mr Cool.

He captains his club, state and country and has been voted Dally M captain of the year twice in the past three seasons.

And if not the No.1 player in the game he is at worst in the top five.

Yet we had the situation yesterday where the Kangaroos were just two points ahead and in a real dog fight with more than a quarter of the game to go, and Sheens throws his favoured son into the action and relegates the skipper to a nebulous role.

Sure they won, but it was an inexplicable decision by the coach.

To me Daly Cherry-Evans is a much better fit for the team than Farah.

Not only was he the form player going in to the tournament, but he can fill a host of backline positions, cover dummy half and play in the back row, as he did for Queensland in Origin.

As a well-known politician once said, please explain.



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