Ben Barba scores the Sharks' first try during the NRL grand final against the Storm at ANZ Stadium.
Ben Barba scores the Sharks' first try during the NRL grand final against the Storm at ANZ Stadium. DAVID MOIR

Tears for Ben Barba's parents on Cronulla premiership win

BEN Barba finally has the "monkey off his back" after the Cronulla Sharks' historic grand final win against Melbourne Storm, says proud dad Ken Barba.

"It was such a proud moment. It actually brought tears to our (the family's) eyes," he said of the former Mackay junior and his squad's 14-12 win.

"Oh mate, I'm very, very delighted. It was a relief, full of excitement. I remember back in 2012 when he was beaten by Melbourne Storm when he played for the Dogs (Canterbury Bulldogs), but now this year Cronulla (Sharks) have won the premiership - the first time in 50 years.

"It brought us joy and happiness yesterday, and even leading into yesterday. I knew something special was going to happen when the Sharks beat the Cowboys two weeks ago."

Mr Barba said he "always knew Ben would score the first try" during Sunday's match-up.

"I could just see it in his body language and how relaxed he was," he said.

"The first couple of days leading up to the game, having family and friends, his partner and children, around for support, he looked really relaxed and I knew he was switched on. You could see his focus.

"After the win I said to him 'not too many footballers could say they've won a Dally M award, won a NRL grand final'."

 

Sharks fullback Ben Barba (left) celebrates after scoring the first try of the NRL grand final between Cronulla and the Melbourne Storm.
Sharks fullback Ben Barba (left) celebrates after scoring the first try of the NRL grand final between Cronulla and the Melbourne Storm. DAVID MOIR

Mr Barba said his son "was just overjoyed" at finally cinching an NRL premiership.

"He couldn't believe it when he didn't win it in 2012," he said.

"So, he couldn't put into words how happy he was. He just kept looking at the grand final ring on his finger and shaking his head.

"Last night when I left him at the club him and all the boys were still there, enjoying the moment and soaking up the atmosphere of being the 2016 premiers."

 

Rohan and Jasmine Brealey, with their children Milah and Jaylah, and Ben Barba's dad Ken at a pit stop on the way to Sydney to watch the NRL grand final.
Rohan and Jasmine Brealey, with their children Milah and Jaylah, and Ben Barba's dad Ken at a pit stop on the way to Sydney to watch the NRL grand final. Contributed

Mr Barba reckoned "the whole suburb of Cronulla" was likely celebrating alongside his son today.

"It was edge of your seat stuff at the stadium. Melbourne had the ball in the last few seconds, I was watching the clock, watching the ball go from one side of the field to the other and I thought it was going to be a heartbreaker," he said.

"But the Sharks stopped the momentum in the last few seconds and I just felt relief, excitement, joy."

When it came to Ben's future, Mr Barba believes the success story at ANZ Stadium in Sydney will be a prelude of things to come.

"I thought to myself 'what more could you do?' but he's determined he's got a lot more football in him yet," he said.

"I think the monkey's off his back, he's got an NRL ring and I think the next few years we might see Ben a bit more older, bit more wiser, with a bit better football coming out of him."

Three carloads of Ben's family were amongst the crowd of 83,625 at the stadium to see the Sharks' heated 14-12 win on Sunday.



New group to change negative view of Bundy backpacking

premium_icon New group to change negative view of Bundy backpacking

Hostel community band together to promote region

Seafood business shutting up shop

premium_icon Seafood business shutting up shop

Seafood shop to close permanently this week

CAN IT: Councillor calls for high-rise to be scrapped

premium_icon CAN IT: Councillor calls for high-rise to be scrapped

Group says at "least one councillor is listening” about high-rise

Local Partners