After failing to fire for Brisbane at fullback, star recruit Ben Barba says he’s hopeful getting more involved at five-eighth will spark his NRL season.
He’s barely fired a shot since his high-profile recruitment from Canterbury but Ben Barba believes his switch to five-eighth could be the catalyst to recapturing his best form for Brisbane.
Barba has looked far from the player who secured the 2012 Dally M in Broncos’ colours, struggling to adapt to his new club’s style of football.
Feeling he needed to get involved more, Barba suggested to coach Anthony Griffin he slot into the No.6 jersey while Josh Hoffman be allowed to slot back into his preferred fullback role.
Griffin agreed and threw Barba in at five-eighth for the Broncos’ past two games against the Warriors and Melbourne.
It’s a position he’s poised to stay in for Friday night’s trip to table-topping Manly.
“Playing up in the line now gets me up and a bit more involved in the game a bit earlier,” Barba said.
“Hopefully I can make something of playing five-eighth now and who knows what will happen?
“What I did at the Dogs and here, it’s two different playing styles. I probably got the ball a little bit more down there than I do here. Being at five-eighth now might allow that to happen a bit more, me get the ball a lot more.”
Barba, a half in his junior days before moving to fullback to force his way into first grade at the Bulldogs, has had a rough introduction to life in the No.6 jersey for the Broncos.
While Brisbane beat the Warriors in his first game at pivot, the visitors scored three of the four tries through or near his left-side channel while the Storm were comfortable 30-8 winners at Suncorp Stadium last weekend.
Now comes the task of stopping fellow Mackay junior Daly Cherry-Evans and Kiwi international five-eighth Kieran Foran.
“They’re obviously one of the best combinations in the comp and going well,” Barba said.
“There’s been some great halves at this club and you can see what they’ve done with Benny Hunt. Hopefully over the next few weeks and coming around to next season I can learn a bit more off those greats.”