Prized recruit Ben Barba says he finally feels comfortable at Brisbane and more ready to recapture his former brilliance.
The wait may be over for the real Ben Barba to step up at the Broncos.
And it’s about time.
Barba suggested wryly that even his teammates may be getting impatient after he failed to produce the blistering form that earned him the 2012 Dally M Medal from the outset in a Broncos jersey.
The former Canterbury fullback was quick to admit on Tuesday that his early form for his new NRL club was “a bit iffy”.
But Barba said he was feeling more comfortable and believed that augured well for Friday night’s clash with St George Illawarra at Wollongong.
Asked when he would hit his straps, Barba said with a laugh: “I think some of the teammates are waiting for that too but hopefully it comes out this Friday.
“The first couple of games were a bit iffy, but last week against the Roosters was the first time I actually felt comfortable, the body felt good.
“I have fitted in here pretty comfortably but I think with my footy I can definitely get better.
“Each week I continue to try and involve myself a bit more.”
Months after being the toast of the NRL holding aloft the Dally M Medal, Barba’s world turned upside down at Canterbury last year as he battled off-field dramas, injury and indifferent form.
Then Barba’s off-season arrival at Red Hill was almost overshadowed by incumbent Brisbane No.1 Josh Hoffman’s initial threat to leave the club.
Barba admitted he was “tentative” with teammates at first as he adjusted to life as a Broncos player.
However, Barba said he had found happiness at Brisbane despite taking on a very different, ball-playing, role to assist inexperienced halves Hoffman and Ben Hunt.
“Everything is going really well. You can probably see it the way I am playing and just walking around here,” he said.
“It was pretty hard being at Canterbury so long and coming here, that (Bulldogs) was the only thing I knew.
“Coming up here was a big change. It took a whole pre-season to learn everyone’s name by heart.
“But I have some great teammates and leaders here and they made it pretty easy.”
Barba said he did not feel any outside pressure to recapture his former greatness.
“It’s something I put on myself,” he said.
“I know the first few weeks I have been a bit quiet but last Friday I tried to get involved more.
“Hopefully I can continue to grow some confidence and play some good football.”