For which Tigers player is season 2012 most important?
One-Eyed: With the amount of money involved and the prolonged drama surrounding Adam Blair’s arrival at the club, I reckon it’s most important that he shows he can handle the weight of expectation and hit the ground running. There’s no doubt in my mind that his addition elevates the Tigers forward pack to the best in the league. His experience will definitely help youngsters like BMM and Groat continue to develop their game and his ability to play front row, second row or lock will mean Sheens has plenty of options when it comes to rotating the big blokes. Blair ended 2011 on the sidelines after The Brawl of Brookie, so he should be highly motivated for a positive start to 2012. Round 2 in Gosford against the Sea Eagles will be an explosive game to say the least!
Forgotten Flano: The tide is slowly changing at the Tigers. With the exit of many of the 2005 heroes, there is many new faces looking to write themselves into the history books. With the change of personnel comes the weight of expectation. How many of the new faces have ‘delivered’ on the hype? I would say all of them, with the club making it deep into the finals the last two years. I don’t believe any of the Tigers new breed could say they are satisfied with a strong season and no premiership ring. 2012 will be huge for Chris Lawrence, touted as the Blue that should have been, having worn his country’s colours and being touted as the next club captain, it is time for Chris to show leadership qualities in his talk and guidance of the new breed. This could be Chris’ season to ensure the little ‘C’ is next to his name in the next few years.
TigerBrad: I’m going to break ranks a little here and say Robbie Farah. The Tigers are in desperate need of cool, calm and consistent leadership and that starts with the captain. There’s no doubt Farah is a tremendous talent who wears his heart on his sleeve, but he has to take his game to the next level in 2012. Is Robbie Farah a genuine superstar you can build a team around or is he a glorified role player who will never truly reach his full potential? This isn’t a knock on Farah as a player – it’s great to have a Scottie Pippen for Benji’s Michael Jordan – and I love the bloke’s passion and pride in the jersey. What I don’t love is kicking out on the full, running on the last tackle and ill-advised short side plays. You expect more from a first grade captain who has played more than 150 games.