I will bounce back, says defiant Barba - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I will bounce back, says defiant Barba

Joe Barton 03/07/2011 01:29:53 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury fullback Ben Barba has apologised to fans after his horror night against Penrith and promised there will be no repeat of it if he has his way.

The Bulldogs' NRL season is on life support after a meek 20-6 loss to the Panthers in which Barba's inexperience under the high ball was exposed badly by Penrith halfback Luke Walsh.

Walsh produced an array of dazzling kicks which baffled Barba, three of which led directly to tries.

Most worrying was a moment in the second half when a towering bomb went uncontested by Barba - who let it bounce, and watched as Penrith five-eighth Travis Burns showed more desperation to retrieve the ball and score next to the posts for a 20-0 lead.

Barba bravely bore most of the criticism following the loss, which dumps the Bulldogs out of the top eight, and said he expected to face a similar test from Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk next weekend.

"I sort of went into each kick half-hearted and they scored three times," Barba told AAP.

"I'm disappointed in how i performed and I've got to prepare really well this week because I know it's going to be the same against the Storm.

"It's down to hard work from me now."

Until this year Barba had played primarily in the halves or off the bench, and only took over the Bulldogs No.1 jersey when veteran custodian Luke Patten moved to the English Super League in the off-season.

But he refuses to consign his off night as part of his learning experience in a relatively new position and says it is not something he expects to go through again.

"There's no excuses from me. It's halfway through the season and I've played fullback before (this year)," he added.

"I've just got to take the beatings and bounce back. I've played there enough now to know what goes on.

"Everyone's disappointed in the performance we showed tonight and hopefully we never play like this again."

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