Good start … Jonathan Wright scores the first try.MAN-OF-THE-MOMENT Ben Barba admits teams are out to get him and knows he’ll have to pick and choose when to inject himself into the contest if he’s going to make an impact.
The Bulldogs fullback, who latched on to a pass from a runaway Josh Morris to score the match-winner, acknowledged he isn’t going to get the opportunities he did in the regular season, placing importance on capitalising on the rare chances that present themselves in finals football.
”I had to pick my times tonight,” he said.
”They were obviously trying to get me there a few times. I just had to pick my right times and go from there. That’s what they say finals footy is all about. It was heartstopping stuff the whole game.
”We’re just really lucky the boys worked really hard together and we came away with the win.”
Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds, who ruffled a few of the Manly feathers with his aggression and mongrel, has no plans to shy away from the physical altercations, despite igniting a couple of push-and-shoves.
”It tends to happen a fair bit but I’m all right with it,” Reynolds said.
“It does lift me. Sometimes they’re coming out hard at me and it’s not like I don’t like the physical stuff. If it happens, it happens. I just roll with it.”
The fiery playmaker described the thumping loss at the hands of the Raiders a fortnight ago as a timely boost for his side before the finals.
”It definitely was the wake-up call we needed,” he said.
”I don’t think we lost our hunger, but we just weren’t ready that night.”
Morris, who scored one try and set up another, knows what it feels like to play in a preliminary final, but is hoping it’s a different feeling this time around.
”In ’09 we got there when Parra were on that roll,” Morris said.
”I’ve been there before and tasted defeat, so I certainly want to get to that next step.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.