You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Morris: Potential Farah return doesn't change game plan

John Morris says Cronulla haven't been distracted by speculation about whether retiring Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah will return from a fractured leg in Sunday's do-or-die affair.

The headlines all week have focused on Tigers champion Farah's bid to run out for a Leichhardt Oval swansong - less than a month after cracking his tibia.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire revealed on Friday that a decision has already been made on Farah but wouldn't confirm what it was.

If Maguire was trying to play mind games, Sharks mentor Morris maintained they've had no effect on his team ahead of the finals-deciding round 25 clash.

"We haven't read too much into it actually," Morris said.

"My head says that he won't play - it's obviously a huge call to bring him in there and disrupt a winning combination with [Josh] Reynolds and Benji [Marshall]. They've been doing a wonderful job for them.

Wests Tigers out to change perception

"My head as a coach says [Maguire] probably won't want to change that combination. But my heart says Robbie Farah completes his fairytale and gets his last game at Leichhardt Oval.

"And I actually hope for his own sake he gets a chance to play. He's been a legend of that club, himself and Benji have been spiritual leaders at Leichhardt Oval for all these years and I think it's a great story if he does get a chance to play."

But that's where the well-wishes stop from rookie coach Morris, who played alongside Farah at the Tigers between 2007-09.

"In all respects to Robbie, it doesn't change anything that we do," Morris said.

Maguire secretive over Farah

"Whoever's at dummy-half - whether it be Benji, Reynolds or Farah - they're all good players who pose a lot of questions in attack.

"We're expecting either of them. We haven't done a lot of work on the personnel of the Tigers ... We're focused on our own performance."

Regardless of the result, the match will mark the end of a sublime career for either Farah or Sharks captain Paul Gallen.

While making the finals is more than enough incentive for Cronulla to fire, prolonging the inspirational Gallen's time in the NRL is also front of mind.

"It's amazing how it all works out, isn't it," Morris said. "[Gallen and Farah won the] 2014 Origin when they held that trophy up for the first time in a long time.

"They're good mates, Gal and Robbie, and unfortunately for one of them it's the last time we're going to see them running around on the footy field if Robbie plays.

"The boys were disappointed last week we couldn't send Gal off at PointsBet Stadium as a winner. We're going to make sure tomorrow is not his last game."

Despite a taxing golden point defeat to Canberra coupled with Gallen's emotional home farewell six days ago, Morris is confident the Sharks' intensity won't wane.

Marshall: We're not prepared to risk Farah

"This time of year, that's what it's about. It's about being able to back up performances and play big games week-to-week," Morris said.

And far from being unnerved by a parochial Tigers crowd, the 39-year-old believes Cronulla will feed off the adversity.

"I think we've got about 11 players who either played for their state or internationally or won a grand final - they won't be overawed by the occasion," Morris said.

"I think they really thrive off the environment, particularly going to Leichhardt and having everyone against us. They won't take a backward step."

Cronulla fullback Matt Moylan (hamstring) and five-eighth Shaun Johnson (quad) were restricted to modified training this week and are in "a little bit of doubt" to take on the Tigers.

The duo's availability depends on how they pull up from Saturday's captain's run.

"I'm hopeful we might be able to have them," Morris said.

Outside back Josh Dugan has passed concussion protocols including specialist appointments after failing to finish the Canberra game.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

VIEW ALL PARTNERS