Sharks forward Luke Lewis has paid fullback Ben Barba a compliment of the highest order, saying the nippy number one has the ability to, and does, bring out the best in the men around him.
Recapturing the form that saw him earn the 2012 Dally M Medal – and lead the Bulldogs to the 2012 Grand Final in the process – Barba has been a shining light in a backline littered with talent this season.
“He’s a good kid, I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s a superstar in our game,” Lewis said.
“He went through a bit of a rough patch (mid-season), but I think we all go through that.
“He’s one of those blokes you just love being around. He brings out the best in you, he always makes you laugh … He’s a great character.
“I’m just so glad he’s playing his best footy as well.”
Scoring 14 tries this season, with 20 try assists to boot, Barba was a key factor in the side putting together 16-games unbeaten earlier this season.
Though preparing for this week’s clash with the Rabbitohs having not scored the ‘two points’ since downing the Knights in Round 20, Lewis says Barba and the Sharks must rediscover what was working for the side in that run.
“We just have to get back to the drawing board, get to training and do those little things,” he said.
“I think the boys done that really well (on Wednesday), it’s a great challenge for us again this week.”