Has there been a more naturally gifted attacking rugby league player? Matthew Bowen… Benji Marshall… Billy Slater… Greg Inglis… no question they’re all superstars – but no-one has ever before shown the ability to turn games on their heads so often and against the odds like Ben Barba has in 2012. The custodian has an unrivalled knack for reading plays; it’s like his mind is functioning five seconds ahead of the clock.
Michael Maguire moved Inglis from centre to custodian after their Round 2 loss to the Storm; the very next week ‘GI’ tore Penrith apart, scoring a try, making two line-breaks and running for 193 metres. He’s made life miserable for all sides since, especially chiming in on the left-hand side of the field, employing his don’t-argue fend and devastating left-foot sidestep. His support play trailing through the centre of the ruck, a la Billy Slater, has been a feature too.