The Broncos are set to keep Ben Barba at five-eighth where he was mercilessly targeted in the front line of defence by the Warriors.
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin has a host of selection headaches but he’s prepared to stick with his biggest concern – Ben Barba at five-eighth.
Switched from fullback for the first time this NRL season, Barba was mercilessly targeted in the front line of defence by the Warriors who scored three of their four tries through or near his left-side channel on Saturday night.
Brisbane still managed to roll with the punches and survive for a much-needed 28-22 victory at Suncorp Stadium, putting to bed a tumultuous week.
Griffin’s hard-line stance to drop Jack Reed, Daniel Vidot and Corey Oates for a mid-week drinking session was rewarded.
Late wing replacements Lachlan Maranta and Jordan Kahu both impressed, to put forward strong cases to keep their spots for Friday night’s home match against Melbourne.
And Dale Copley, moved from right wing to left centre, was Brisbane’s match-winner with two superb tries in three minutes to give them a six-point lead with 12 minutes left.
But the Warriors got easy pay from attacking the Barba-Copley edge with back-rower Ben Henry the main beneficiary with two tries and two more line breaks.
Barba, the 2012 Dally M winner, has failed to hit any great heights since moving to Brisbane from Canterbury and Griffin finally ran out of patience by returning Josh Hoffman to his preferred position at fullback.
“That’s been a bit patchy for us, that area,” Griffin said.
“We thought we’d have a look the other way.
“It’s still patchy.”
However, Griffin indicated he would keep Barba at five-eighth against the Storm, when Reed, Vidot and Oates will be available again.
The return of Reed would certainly help the diminutive Barba in defence on the left side.
“We probably missed Jack’s defence on that edge a little bit at times but Dale learned and it was a terrific attacking display by him in that second half,” said Griffin.
The selection dilemma is compounded by the fact Maranta, who was brilliant under the high ball, would lose his place if Copley was moved back to the wing.