The Gold Coast Titans’ bold bid to snare either Cameron Smith or Robbie Farah has ultimately failed, with the Wests Tigers playmaker Robbie Farah turning down the lucrative bid and now current rake Nathan Friend has chosen to also reject the club’s final offer; Friend not happy with the financial terms of the lack of faith shown in the rising star.
Robbie Farah has signed today with the Wests Tigers for an additional 4 years after this season – locking him in until 2013; while Friend will throw himself onto the open market after knocking back a 2 year deal – this will see Nathan Friend a free agent at the end of 2009.
While certainly a bold bid; by putting all their eggs into one basket – trying to recruit a game leading hooker, the Titans now have alienated Friend and have no time to grab themselves a star recruit in another position for 2009.
Australian captain Cameron Smith renewed his agreement with Melbourne in December, but Farah seriously considered the move to Queensland and visited their facilities and sat down with John Cartwright to discuss the switch.
When the Titans felt that Farah wasn’t in the bag, they fell back to plan C – trying to offer current No. 9 Friend with an upgraded deal.
The Titans did however offer Nathan Friend a deal during 2008 – but the figures apparently weren’t in the ball park for the ever improving Friend.
This latest renewed offer to their hooker came with a 3 day deadline; putting the pressure back on the player – who ultimately thumbed his nose at the offer. While Friend and his club might not be seeing eye to eye at present, the hooker will need to perform well in 2009 to impress other clubs and ultimately stay away from injuries which could really cruel his chances of grabbing a new deal in 2010.
Sources are now suggesting that Brisbane Bronco Ian Lacey is a target at hooker for the Titans next year and they also view youngster Kayne Lawton as a potential back-up option.
Robbie Farah who was a Balmain junior is believed to have secured a princely sum for his new multi-year deal with Wests.
The failure of the Titans deal means that former teammates Scott Prince and Anthony Laffranchi, will now not get the chance to link with their old sparring partner Farah.
In other Titans news, outside back Brett Delaney and young front rower Will Matthews, 20, have both been added to an 8-man players’ representatives group alongside senior players Prince, Luke Bailey, Laffranchi, Preston Campbell, Mark Minichiello and Friend.
Putting aside their hooking woes, the Titans still look strong for 2009. NRL News sees the young club able to make their first finals appearance if they are able to avoid any injury woes. With a great blend of experience, talent and youth – they have the facilities, coaching and strong home support needed to get consistent regular season results. Look for the new club to grab a spot from either 4th to 8th at the end of the season.