Ben Barba gave glimpses of his electrifying best as the Broncos easily accounted for Newcastle 32-6 on Friday night. Credit: Col Whelan/NRL Photos
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin has urged the media to find something else to write about fullback Ben Barba following his breakout performance in the Broncos' comprehensive win over the Knights on Good Friday in Newcastle.
Playing his his seventh game for his new club, Barba crossed for his first try in the Brisbane strip while also helping his side prevent several other Knights tries from being scored, his work at the defensive end most impressing his coach who has remained staunch in his support of his star recruit.
"He saved two or three [tries] and credit to him – every week he's his biggest critic and he's got that off his chest now and we'll move on," Griffin said.
Broncos co-captain Justin Hodges echoed the sentiments of his coach before explaining his thoughts on the kind of player Barba is.
"Benny's a good player in his own right. It's good to see him score a try; he's been searching for a while," Hodges said. "Like 'Hook' (Griffin) said, he saved a few tries which was more important and sometimes more important than scoring a try.
"I thought he was fantastic."
After losing to the Gold Coast Titans in heartbreaking fashion last weekend, Griffin was proud of his players' defensive display above everything else.
"I thought last week we nearly earned a win through our defence and we were a bit unlucky but tonight we definitely withstood them more in the first half," said Griffin as the Broncos moved back into the top four.
"To come in 10 in front [at half-time], that was probably the ball game there through that defensive effort.
"The thing I was particularly happy with was last week was particularly hard to swallow for the players. They were setting up a really strong win last week and it turned on his head but their attitude this week to come down to Newcastle and start again was the best thing for me.
"We backed it up with a bit more attack tonight. We had to withstand about 10 sets more in that first half and we did so it was good we could go on with it from there."
Hodges added: "The boys really dug in there – that first half our backs were against the wall and defending so many sets after sets. It was pleasing that we ended up holding them out."
While the Broncos head back home to take on the South Sydney next weekend, Griffin emphasised the realisation that his side will be up against it when taking on a quality Rabbitohs outfit.
"With Souths, they're obviously a quality side and they were favourites for the competition and deserved to be," Griffin said.
"We'll worry about Souths tomorrow."