Jersey will always remind me of Mum

Written By Unknown on Senin, 08 Juli 2013 | 23.40

Robbie Farah after the Blues' victory in Game Two of last year's State of Origin. Source: Mark Evans / News Limited

WHEN Robbie Farah says he has never wanted to win a game of football more than this State of Origin decider, the emotion builds in his eyes.

As the Blues arrived in camp Monday, the tough hooker opened up about his personal motivation - and how every time he pulls on a NSW jersey he thinks of his late mother Sonia, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last year.

"I don't like dwelling on it or going back," Farah said. "But the last game Mum watched me play was in a sky blue jersey.

"That is why this jersey means so much to me and why I want to wear this jersey for as long as I am playing footy."

After seven consecutive series defeats, and especially the way in which the Blues lost in Brisbane two weeks ago, almost all the experts have given up on this being the year NSW end the dominance of this mighty Queensland team.

But not Farah.

He was standing beside the pool at the Blues' Coogee headquarters Monday when he was asked if NSW could come back from the humiliating 26-6 defeat they suffered in Brisbane. That is when Farah opened up about his private motivation.

Sonia passed away just four days after watching her son's heroic 63-tackle effort in NSW's epic game two win over Queensland last year from her hospital bed.

Josh Dugan, Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Brett Morris, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, James Tamou, Robbie Farah, Paul Gallen (c), Ryan Hoffman, Luke Lewis, Greg Bird. Interchange: Anthony Watmough, Andrew Fifita, Trent Merrin, Josh Reynolds, James McManus, Boyd Cordner, Aaron Woods.

And of all the games in his life that he has wanted to win, this one on Wednesday week is now at the top of the list.

"I don't think I have wanted anything more," he said.

"Obviously coming so close last year and under the circumstances of last year, too.

"I guess Origin has taken such a greater role in my life because of the circumstances of what happened at the time last year.

"It's fair to say I want this really bad."

At the start of last year there were all these questions being asked about Farah's toughness, and whether he was an Origin player.

The irony now is that if NSW skipper Paul Gallen fails to recover from his foot injury next week, Farah will take charge as captain.

Farah isn't even contemplating Gallen not making it onto the field at ANZ Stadium.

"I have no doubt he will be right," Farah said.

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"He is as tough as nails and I know that unless you cut his leg off Gal will be out there next Wednesday."

But it must be an honour to be considered next in line, especially when you remember the questions being asked about your toughness last year?

"I seemed to be copping it left, right and centre, from you included," he smiled.

"I wasn't even sure I was going to get another chance (to play for NSW). It had been a while, since 2009.

"I knew I was good enough to play on this stage. I never doubted myself or the belief I had in myself."

Farah has earned respect through performances on the field and off it over the past year. During some of the toughest times in his life, he has showed us the qualities that make up the man.

As a son, as a footballer and as a leader.

It's worth remembering that in last year's series Farah was awarded the Brad Fittler Medal as NSW's outstanding player of the series. The award is voted on by his teammates.

And during some difficult times at the Wests Tigers, he has been the one player who has consistently aimed up this year.

Farah admits the adversity he has lived through over the past 18 months has made him a stronger man.

"Definitely," he said.

"When you are faced with different sorts of things, I guess you can either curl up in a ball and have a cry about it or let it affect you - or you just get on with it.

"I think I have learned how to get on with things. I have had no option but to get on with things, really.

"I was kind of forced to do it, the timing of things, because I was in here and being a captain at club level. It has definitely changed me."

But one thing that hasn't changed is what motivates him - family.

At 29, Farah is not too proud to admit that he still lives at home with his father Peter and he doesn't hide the bond they share.

"Yeah, I do," he said. "I'm about to move out but I am still with him.

"I don't need him to tell me how proud he is. You just see it on his face.

"He is a pretty emotional sort of guy, my old man, and I am pretty emotional too.

"He gets a bit teary and makes me a bit teary.

"Yeah, it's an unspoken love, I guess.

"I don't need him to tell me he's proud every day because I know how proud he is."

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