Broncos fullback Ben Barba ran a season-low 37 metres against the Wests Tigers on Saturday night.

Frustrated Barba targets Origin period

Frustrated Brisbane star Ben Barba admits he has struggled with the weight of expectation but hopes his first stint as a member of the Baby Broncos will ignite what has been a slow start to life at the club.

Barba's signing was hailed as a major coup for the six-time premiership winners when he was granted an early release by the Bulldogs to leave Belmore for Brisbane last August.

But the 2012 Dally M winner admits he has been well below his best for the most part this season and is at a loss to explain why.

"If I knew, I would've changed that already," Barba told NRL.com.

"I can't use the excuse that I'm getting used to these guys because it's been 9-10 weeks and I had a whole pre-season with them.

"I'm not too sure what it is. Look, I've just got to keep working hard at training and hopefully things get better."

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For the first time this year, the 24-year-old revealed how his game has suffered under the weight of expectation that came with his trumpeted arrival in a one-team town.

"There's an expectation of what I'm capable of doing and I think a lot of people expect that. Fans these days expect it week-in and week-out," he said.

"You can't really do that. Consistency is pretty tough. And in this game, mate, to be consistent every round, the only thing you can do is work hard and hope for the best.

"It does get frustrating because you don't want to let the team down and the coaching staff. Everyone works so hard here at the club. I'm not saying I don't do the work hard as well, but all the boys know what you're capable of. I'm just not able to produce it at the moment."

Barba's season sunk to a new low against the Wests Tigers on Saturday night after carrying the ball for just 37 metres – his lowest output since arriving at the club. His 29 possessions were also his third-lowest of the year.

But despite his poor performance, it was another Ben – halfback Ben Hunt – who was able to step up to jag a rare Broncos win during the Origin period with a 76th minute penalty goal.

"Benny's been like that all year, really. He just took on that little bit more of a role [Saturday] and he led us around the park and got on the back of the forwards," Barba said.

With three teammates away on Origin duty – as well as having captain Sam Thaiday sidelined with a nagging calf injury – Barba is determined to help his in-form halfback and find another level in their absence.

"It's something I'm looking forward to. You watch these guys over the years playing without the Origin stars, when they used to have eight, nine people out," he said.

"We were definitely missing some people [on Saturday night] due to Origin and injury with Sammy. These wins are good for you come the end of the season. These are the real tough ones you want to get without them guys because we're only going to get better when they return.

"It wasn't a very good night for myself [against the Tigers]. The harder I tried, the worse it got. It has to be a team effort more than just an individual thing when them guys are out.

"It's been a tough year at the start for myself. But I just want to keep trying hard and getting better. Lucky there's always next week."