Ben Horne May 22, 2012
Ben Barba says he's in no rush to make his State of Origin debut and is content with continuing to build an irresistible case for Queensland selection at NRL club level for Canterbury.
Barba blitzed Cronulla last night, scoring two tries in the 26-6 win in another definitive example of his brilliant all-round game.
While it's hard to find a weakness on the Queensland bench for game one, Barba can't do any more than he's currently doing and if the Maroons do find themselves in trouble during the series, the 22-year-old believes he's ready.
''I thought I was going all right but there's some great players for Queensland and I'm in no rush,'' Barba said.
''It's a big stage to step up to Origin and I can probably learn a bit more before I get there.
''I always knew I was a long shot … I've just got to focus on this and one day my time will come.''
Barba has scored 18 tries from his past 16 appearances at ANZ Stadium and Bulldogs coach Des Hasler is confident Mal Meninga has his fullback in his sights.
''I think they've well and truly got him earmarked,'' Hasler said.
''He attended the pre-Origin camp this year and you've only got to look at some of his stats, the way he's been performing with his ability to break the line and score points. I'm sure there is a plan in there for B Barba.''
Canterbury surged to a 24-0 half-time lead, and although the Sharks kept things tight in the second half, without captain Paul Gallen and star Todd Carney there to inspire them, they surrendered their place in the top four to Manly.
''We were off the pace. We knew what they were going to throw at us but we sat back and watched them do it to us,'' Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan said. AAP