Former Dally M Medallist Ben Barba believes he has finally regained his mojo as Brisbane plot to seal a last gasp NRL finals berth.
Nothing, it seems, is going to wipe the long-awaited smile off Ben Barba’s face.
Not Brisbane’s precarious NRL finals position.
Nor speculation claiming Canberra gun Anthony Milford’s 2015 arrival will relegate Barba to a bench role under incoming coach Wayne Bennett.
The Brisbane fullback-cum-pivot is simply happy that he has regained his mojo for the first time since claiming the 2012 Dally M Medal while at the Bulldogs.
“I had a little joke with Hodgo (teammate Justin Hodges) – I said it was better late than never,” said Barba of finally finding form with three tries in last weekend’s 48-6 rout of Newcastle.
Barba on Tuesday confirmed reports he wanted to finish his career at Brisbane but conceded there could be more positional changes under Bennett next year.
“That’s out of my control. I am contracted here until 2016,” he said.
“But I have no plans on moving again, I am happy in Queensland now.
“I would like to finish my career in Queensland but whatever happens, happens.
“I am enjoying (playing five eighth) at the moment.
“If I can stay there I will and if I have to move (position) I will move.”
Barba hoped Hodges remained at No.1 even if Josh Hoffman returns from an ankle injury this year after the veteran centre slotted in at fullback to help inspire the last round thumping.
It was the first time Hodges had played fullback for Brisbane since Bennett held the reins in 2006.
“It was good having him (Hodges) there and it worked. He had a hand in just about all of our tries,” Barba said.
Barba admitted he would be glued to the television in the next fortnight as Brisbane’s NRL finals fate was decided.
Brisbane (9th; 11-11 record) need to win their final two regular season games and rely on other results to fall their way if they are to secure a finals berth.
“Obviously we need some teams to lose and for things to go our way for us to scrape in there,” he said ahead of Friday night’s Suncorp Stadium clash with fellow finals aspirants St George Illawarra.