Glenn Jackson June 30, 2012
Heartache ... Robbie Farah's mother died two weeks ago. Photo: Getty Images
BLUES hooker Robbie Farah has emerged from the toughest period in his life to declare a determination to ensure his mother's death almost a fortnight ago does not affect him in the State of Origin decider on Wednesday night in Brisbane.
Farah yesterday made his first public comments since the death of his mother Sonia from pancreatic cancer on the day of the Tigers' clash with the Roosters in round 15.
''It is difficult, but I've got my head around the fact that I've got to put things behind me and that I've got a lot of people relying on me - my teammates, my coach, my coaching staff and my state,'' Farah said in his regular column for mX newspaper.
''I've got to get on with the job, make sure I'm not affected in any way and come next Wednesday night play to the best of my ability. That's all I'm focused on at the moment - going out there, not letting anyone down and playing the best I can.''
Farah's remarkable defensive performance in game two, when he made a record 63 tackles, coincided with his mother, who had been diagnosed last November, being taken to hospital. The following Sunday, Robbie and his family were with her when she passed away.
Farah missed the game with the Roosters as a result, but returned last Monday night against Newcastle. Now he declares the ''Origin decider will be right up there with the 2005 grand final as the biggest game I have ever played''.
Farah will not be alone in having to play soon after a family tragedy. Queensland prop Matt Scott's mother Dianne lost her battle with throat cancer last week. Farah revealed he had texted Scott to offer his support.
''It has been sad to see Matt Scott going through a similarly difficult time, with his mum, Dianne, passing away just a few days after mine,'' Farah said. ''I got hold of his number and sent him a text, simply saying that I know no words can help, I am sorry for his loss and I know what he's going through.''
Of his own loss, Farah said: ''There has been no tougher time in my life than the past two weeks … It is still hard for me to talk about - I know I just have to get on with things.
''The support is great, but nothing can cheer you up or change anything. It's just a matter of dealing with it somehow and moving on with life.
''It has been difficult for me because I've had to come back into a team, both at the Tigers and now with NSW.
''It helps at times in keeping you distracted, but I don't want to affect the boys in any way because I'm down or my preparation's not right.''
Farah's mother's death came at a time when his reputation as a State of Origin player was blossoming. He has been one of the squad's best over the opening two matches, but will now venture into unchartered territory in game three.
Not only is the Wests Tigers captain yet to play in an Origin decider, but he has also never played an interstate game at Suncorp Stadium.
''It has been a long time since NSW has tasted Origin success and before the first game our team spoke about wanting to make history, not be a part of it,'' the 28-year-old said.
''We've gone about trying to do that, so now we will head to Brisbane trying to turn the tables and become the first NSW side in six years to win that shield.''