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Barba says stopping NRL tries is the key

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    Canterbury fullback Ben Barba’s NRL development under new Bulldogs coach Des Hasler was there for all to see when he produced a miracle try-saving tackle on burly Gold Coast prop Luke Bailey on Sunday.

    Barba had a brilliant all-round game to help the Bulldogs to a 30-20 win over the Titans at Skilled Park.

    But it was his defensive effort and not his outstanding attacking performance which included a try and setting up a 105-metre four-pointer that pleased Barba most.

    “I’d rather save more tries than I score,” said Barba who’s taken on board advice from Hasler to work harder on his tackling.

    “Defence is a big part of this game … defence wins you games.”

    With around six minutes remaining Bailey looked certain to score when he charged to the line, only for the diminutive Barba to somehow get underneath the 107kg prop and hold him up.

    Had Bailey been awarded a try it would have cut the margin to 30-26.

    Barba also credited his ever improving game to watching Melbourne fullback Billy Slater in action.

    “If I can watch one game every week it’s Melbourne obviously,” he said.

    “He (Slater) is the best player in the game and he just happens to be a fullback.

    “I don’t know if he knows players are trying to emulate him but I just try and watch everything he does and then try and work my butt off to be everywhere like he is.”

    It seems to be working for the richly gifted Barba who displayed skills Slater would be proud of.

    Late in the first half he fielded a well-placed Scott Prince grubber, seemingly trapped in goal with nowhere to go.

    Teammates yelled for him to “get low” and dive back into the field of play.

    But instead, he went on the attack, leaving two Titans defenders grasping and then deceiving fullback William Zillman before off-loading to teammate Josh Morris to complete a 105m try.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • April 2nd 2012 @ 6:55am
      oikee said | April 2nd 2012 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      A couple of points to make about the Titans. Firstly, they dont seem to have many islanders or kiwis in the squad. Anyone notice this, not sure what it means, but i noticed this because of how poorly they really are, a team in crisis.
      Second, how can a front row forward with the line wide open not score, when your team needs you to perform , you cant even score. Big bull Bailey should have done everything in his power, ripped Barba to peices to get that ball down, yet he conceded like a stuffed pig.
      You can see this for yourself, and Gallon also was guilty of this, (Gallon improved) Mark Minnicello every week is always looking up from the ground after yet again making another mistake. Never fails. Watch next week, i bet he is looking up from the ground pleading to the ref, it was not me, he knocked it out. This guy has never changed, he always has 2-3 mistakes in his game every week. In this fast paced game, you just cant do this.
      Steve Micheals, ? he was running up out of the line 5 years ago when the Broncos let him go, he is still running out of the line.
      The Titans are running out players nobody has even heard of before, it is like b-graders. And Scotty Prince cant perform on his own, he has not got the legs. Once Bird went off, they were rudderless.
      I have never seen a club pick so many ordinary players, Zilman is good, but he is not a 5 year deal player. Cartwight should never have been given the luxury of a 5 year deal.
      Indris is now sitting around with injuries, another 5 year dealer.
      I would tap Luke Bailey on the shoulder, along with Michaels Minnicello, i would then go out and find at least 3, maybe five islanders and or kiwis to give the side some balance.

      • April 2nd 2012 @ 9:43am
        Gareth said | April 2nd 2012 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Oikee, that’s a pretty ridiculous comment to make. The Titans aren’t short on players from any particular heritage, they’re short on confidence and experience. What little experience they do have is in players who are a season or two away from retirement or a stint in the ESL – and given the clubs financial situation they’re probably putting the feelers out already. Once Bailey, Mince Jr, Harrison and Prince move on, they’re left with Bird and Myles as senior players and I’d understand completely if the juniors didn’t bother to take on any “wisdom” those two might impart.

        • April 2nd 2012 @ 10:09am
          oikee said | April 2nd 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          Point i was trying to make, sack the recruitment officer, he has done a awful job. The whole club has made all the wrong decisions. Lets not sugar coat this fact.

          • April 2nd 2012 @ 4:02pm
            Gareth said | April 2nd 2012 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

            Well yeah, there is that. Why they chose to focus their spending spree on big forwards and big forwards masquerading as centres is beyond me. A half decent five-eighth wouldn’t have gone astray.

    • Roar Guru

      April 2nd 2012 @ 1:51pm
      The Barry said | April 2nd 2012 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

      This is supposed to be an article about how good Barba is and how much he’s improving. There are any number of articles on The Roar where you can debate how rubbish the Titans are.

      Barba did the ‘impossible’ twice yesterday, once in attack and once in defence. To hold Bailey up when he didn’t get a hand on him until he was over the line was miraculous and as good as anything Slater has done. Then you take into account that he did exactly the same to Kevin Locke a couple of weeks ago, so it’s not a fluke.

      The one-on-one hold ups over the line are a very valuable skill (they probably should be scored in fantasy NRL as they are as valuable as a converted try).

      The 105 metre try was amazing. He beat four Titans players in about the first six metres and then stood Zillman up with no room to move as good as anyone I’ve ever seen. He also scored a try of his own.

      Add to that, so far this season it looks as though he’s sorted out his issues under the high ball and he’d be a dynamite weapon for the maroons off the bench in Origin.

      • April 2nd 2012 @ 4:04pm
        Gareth said | April 2nd 2012 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

        And yeah, forget the Titans, that try from Barba/Morris was incredible to watch. Will be very hard to top in the try of the year stakes.

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