Diminu­tive Barba set for bar­rage of bombs

Townsville Bulletin - - Game On -

DIMINU­TIVE Can­ter­bury full­back Ben Barba knows the high balls are head­ing his way and says Pre­ston Camp­bell and Matt Bowen have shown the way in how to han­dle them.

Barba got off lightly in his first game as the Bull­dogs’ full-time cus­to­dian, in Mon­day night’s 24-14 win over the wayward-kick­ing Wests Tigers.

But the 174cm whiz kid knows the hon­ey­moon won’t last and could be over as soon as Sun­day in Can­ter­bury’s clash with South Syd­ney.

‘‘ I’m go­ing to ex­pect a lot more dur­ing the year,’’ Barba said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ I’m not the big­gest of all full­backs but I look up to the guys like the Pre­stons and Matty ( Bowen) . . . they’ve done it for so long and so well.

‘‘ If I can repli­cate some of their ef­forts un­der the high ball then I’m happy.’’

To do so, he’s caught hun­dreds of bombs through­out the off-sea­son as he’s honed the skills needed in the No. 1 jer­sey.

‘ ‘ Nearl y e v e r y t r a i ni ng session I’ll get the coaches to get out there and just keep send­ing me high balls af­ter high balls,’’ he said.

‘‘( The tough­est thing is) prob­a­bly just the run­ning, there’s a lot more run­ning than there is at five-eighth.

‘‘ You’ve got to be on one side, then they ex­pect you to be on the other side and then you’ve got to re­turn the kicks.’’

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