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Injuries, poor crowd mars Tigers win

Matt Encarnacion, Western Sydney Correspondent NRL.com Sat, Apr 12, 2014 - 11:00 PM

Wests Tigers forward Adam Blair shapes to pass during his side's Saturday clash against the Cowboys at Campbelltown. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos

A possible dislocated elbow to Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah and a poor crowd of 6456 in Campbelltown has soured the club's strong 16-4 win over North Queensland on Saturday night.

Farah was taken to Campbelltown Hospital immediately after the game, having suffered friendly-fire from teammate Adam Blair in a tackle just minutes from full-time.

"Robbie's in a bit of pain. Two minutes to go, he's dislocated his elbow I think. So he's getting some oxygen or whatever they take," said coach Mick Potter.

It is believed the club's medical staff slipped the elbow back into place, but this was not confirmed by the club.

"I don't know, I'm not a doctor," Potter said.

The possible absence of their most significant player would be a huge blow for the improving Tigers, who won their fourth game in five weeks despite key men James Tedesco and Braith Anasta being sidelined on Saturday night.

Farah was in sublime form once again against the Cowboys, directing traffic from dummy-half in attack while tallying 40 tackles in defence.

"He does that every week though, it's good to have that type of player," said teammate David Nofoaluma.

"It's good from him, backing up every week and being consistent, just doing his role, that's what makes him the player he is.

"He's one of our key players and of course he's going to be a major loss. I guess we'll have to work very, very hard because he does a lot of work on the field. He's one of our main players and he's our captain. So it'll be a major loss for us."

The other major talking point from the game was the disappointing crowd of 6456 – their lowest attendance since 2003. Just six days ago, a crowd of more than 16,000 was praised for turning up in their droves to a soggy Leichhardt Oval.

"I thank the 6500 fans for coming out. They are die-hard fans. I scratch my head wondering what more we can do to attract a crowd at Campbelltown Sports Stadium,'' CEO Grant Mayer said.

Mayer then announced that $10 tickets would be made available for the Wests Tigers’ next home match at Campbelltown against Brisbane in Round 11 on Saturday, May 24. The match marks the 15th anniversary of the club’s first premiership match in 2000.

"Come sit anywhere you like," he said.

"It is a last throw of the dice for Campbelltown to come and show they support their club. Then, we will have to reassess whether we continue to run games here at a loss.

"I feel sorry for the 6500 who did attend tonight. They're the ones who support their team through thick and thin.

"It is incredible to think 16,000 sat and stood in the rain to watch the team win against one of the competition heavyweights but, six days later, we have 6000 at one of the greatest venues in rugby league in Campbelltown Sports Stadium."

Potter said he expected a bigger turnout given the team's recent run of good form.

"It is disappointing to have 6000, I think we're not going too bad. We've won four out of six, I'd like to think we'd have some fans here that wanna come and watch a good game. And it was a good game to watch," he said.

Nofoaluma, one of a handful of Campbelltown juniors in the NRL squad, said he was also disappointed not to see more fans turnout to watch the local products.

"It's a bit upsetting for myself. Being my home town here at Campbelltown, to see 6000 is a bit sad because we've got a great fanbase," he said.

"Pretty much half the team are from Campbelltown. It's a bit upsetting to not see the many fans turn up to our home ground, especially after the performance of the boys and how we're going."