Canterbury captain Michael Ennis has tipped Ben Barba be a success at five-eighth and Brisbane to be more dangerous with him in the playmaking position.
Canterbury are wary of ex-Bulldog Ben Barba biting back and predict Brisbane will be more dangerous following his switch to five-eighth.
Barba has played the last three games with the No.6 on his back after being shifted from his usually fullback position.
He will come up against his former club for the second time when the Broncos host the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
While the positional switch has robbed the 2012 Dally M Medallist of one of his natural weapons, his kick return, Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis says it will only help the Broncos with him getting his hands on the ball more often.
Brisbane’s spluttering attack has come in for some criticism following back-to-back losses to Melbourne and Manly in which they scored just three tries.
However, Ennis has fresh in his mind memories of when Barba single-handedly tore sides to pieces for the Bulldogs and helped carry Canterbury to the 2012 grand final.
“They’re probably more dangerous to be honest,” Ennis said when asked what affect Barba’s switch would have on the Broncos.
“Benny with his hands on the football more is a good thing for Brisbane.
“He’s a guy that can do things on the football field that not many can do. He’s a guy that can turn half chances into points very quickly.
“He’s such a wonderful support player pushing around the likes of (Corey) Parker and (Alex) Glenn and those sorts of guys, (Sam) Thaiday.”
Barba was targeted in the defensive frontline by the Warriors in round 19 when the Auckland based-side scored three of their four tries down the channel he shares with Dale Copley.
Last week Manly targeted him in defence with some success.
The Bulldogs (fifth) go into the match against Brisbane (10th) desperate to break a three-game losing streak and keep alive their top-four hopes.
Ennis said the Bulldogs would not be directing traffic Barba’s way and they were more concerned with addressing their own execution ahead of targeting any opposition player defensively.
“(Barba) is also adapting to the defensive side of things as well,” Ennis said.
“It’s a tough job these days as a half defending on some of those edge back-rowers, the athletes they are in the modern game,” he said.
“I think time will well whether it’s a good move but I think he’s handled it pretty well and no doubt we’ve got to limit his opportunities.”