Barrett eyes crowning glory at Origin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barrett eyes crowning glory at Origin

By Laine Clark 11/06/2010 02:21:53 PM Comments (0)

In a career epitomised by a series of near misses with St George Illawarra and a representative career which left him feeling like a jilted lover on more than one occasion, Barrett is doing all he can to go out with a bang.

With Cronulla showing little sign of being a finals force and the 32-year-old contemplating hanging up the boots at the end of the season, Barrett knows Origin presents something of a final salvation.

"This would probably be the one that would mean the most to me if we could win the next two games," said Barrett, who admits he thought his Origin days were numbered when he quit the NRL to head to Super League in 2007.

"Because of the circumstances, because of my age - I might not get to do it again - this is a big one.

"Going to England and coming back and thinking that I maybe wouldn't get the chance to do it again and coming back to do that, that'd be pretty satisfying." Of course Barrett does have one series win under his belt, having played in the 2004 series decider, which will always be remembered as Brad Fittler's last hurrah in the sky blue.

But while that one-off was special, it would be overshadowed by a series win here given the backs against the wall predicament the Blues find themselves in being 1-0 down heading to Suncorp Stadium.

It's a situation Barrett has become accustomed too - NSW's go-to man in a crisis.

Despite having played just nine games for NSW, Wednesday night will make it the sixth time Barrett has been recalled by Blues selectors, and the last four times it's either been for a decider or with NSW down 1-0 in the series.

In 2003 he played the final game alongside Andrew Johns with the match and series ending in a draw, before his triumphant return partnering Fittler in 2004.

Last year he replaced a disappointing Terry Campese after NSW lost the opener, and now this week he lines up alongside youngster Mitchell Pearce with the Blues again behind the eight ball.

"It's been funny like that - I certainly would have liked to have played the first one but that's the way things turn out," Barrett said.

"I've been very happy with my time in the team." While he will never go down amongst the greats to don the sky blue, Barrett's appearance in Origin II will make it 13 years since his debut as a 19-year-old in the dead rubber of the 1997 series.

Fittler is the only player to have enjoyed a longer tenure for NSW, while only Queensland legends Mal Meninga and Allan Langer have been involved in Origin as a player over a longer period of time.

Yet while Fittler, Meninga and Langer head the field when it comes to Origin appearances - Langer on top with 34 - Barrett has yet to make it into double figures.

It's been a love-hate relationship between Barrett and the Blues, with either form, injury or unavailability costing him more appearances at Origin level.

But according to Barrett, all that matters is victory in the next two games.

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