Ben Barba has declared he wants to make the Cronulla fullback spot his own after reigniting his confidence against Newcastle.
The former Dally M winner put in an impressive cameo coming off the bench in Sunday’s 30-28 win over the Knights, turning the game when he came on in the second half.
Barba described himself as a confidence player and after feeling the wind return to his sails he said he was eyeing locking down a spot in the Sharks’ starting side.
“Everyone is fit and healthy and raring to go and if that means me coming off the bench like I did on the weekend, I’ll put my hand up and keep doing that and I’ll try to inject myself when I come on,” Barba said.
“But I definitely see myself as the fullback here and with Flash (Michael Gordon) going next year I’d like to make that spot mine for the next few years.”
Barba was a late inclusion against the Knights after missing the Sharks’ previous win over the Sydney Roosters.
He was put into the game when Sosaia Feki came from the field injured and instantly made an impact.
With his side trailing by eight points, he played a crucial role in the lead-up to Luke Lewis’ try before running a beautiful line off a Wade Graham offload to bag a four-pointer, as his side can over the top of the Knights in the final stages.
Barba’s form has been indifferent since signing from Brisbane and he faces a battle with Valentine Holmes and Gordon for the No.1 jersey.
But with Gordon on his way to Parramatta next year, an opportunity has presented itself and he will spend the rest of the year auditioning for the fullback spot.
“I took a lot from that (performance against the Knights), I’ve been obviously struggling over the last few weeks,” he said.
“Confidence is a big thing for me and Flanno (coach Shane Flanagan said I’ll take big improvement out of that and hopefully I can keep building now.”