Barba promises St Helens fans he will get better after long-awaited debut

Ben Barba has promised St Helens fans he will get better following his long-awaited debut for the club on Friday night.

Barba scored a controversial try during the Saints’ 26-16 defeat to Wigan – his first game of Rugby League for 10 months after the culmination of his 12-game drugs ban.

The loss leaves the Saints behind in the race for the top-four – but Barba told League Express both himself and his team-mates will improve for the run-in.

“It’s good to get that first one out of the way,” he said.

“I was like a duck on water; calm on the surface but underneath there was a lot going on. I’m pretty sure I’ll be better for it now.

“We’ve made it tough for ourselves now. It’s hard when you’ve got to rely on others to lose and it’s taken out of your hands, but all we can do now is focus on the run-in. That starts with Wakey on Thursday and it’s a huge game for us, we all know that, but we can do it.”

Barba also said that he felt the level of play in Super League did not differ too much with that in the NRL.

“I don’t think there was too much difference,” he said.

“After speaking to some of the boys who’ve played in the NRL too, we see no difference. It was fast and physical and very similar.

“It was good, it’s good to be a part of. Both sets of supporters were loud and it was unbelievable to be a part of – I’m already looking forward to the next one.”

And ahead of this Thursday’s trip to in-form Wakefield, Barba believes that he will be a much better player for the rigours of his debut against the Warriors on Friday night.

“I got a bit tired towards the end but I’ve always been a tough critic of myself. When my side loses I blame myself; I did some good things but I’ll have to be better to help the side get the win next time out.

“It was a difficult game. We’d have loved to win but that’s the game. Wigan got the jump on us and you can’t give a good team like that a headstart. I think the start was the difference; we had two great chances in the first half we didn’t finish off and that’s the difference – they were good enough to finish their breaks.”