Ben Barba made his senior Aussie rules debut for Eastern Swans last weekend. He kicked seven goals in Reserve Grade and backed it up with six more majors in A-Grade. Photo: Callum Dick
Ben Barba made his senior Aussie rules debut for Eastern Swans last weekend. He kicked seven goals in Reserve Grade and backed it up with six more majors in A-Grade. Photo: Callum Dick

How the Saints plan to lock down Ben Barba

IT'S not often you can jump on YouTube to get a gauge on who you will be lining up against in local footy, but that is exactly what North Mackay defender Chayse Tilley did this week.

The Saints' premiership-winning fullback will likely be the 'lucky' one tasked with standing alongside Ben Barba tomorrow, when the Saints host Eastern Swans in the grand final rematch at Zeolla Park.

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"I saw he kicked six of their eight goals last weekend," Tilley said of Barba.

"I made the mistake during the week of YouTubing his career highlights and it turns out I shouldn't have done that.

"One player doesn't make a team, but I'm sure he's an asset for the Swans."

One player also doesn't make a defence - and with the way the Saints play, Tilley will have plenty of help from his back six.

North Mackay Saints defender Chayse Tilley.
North Mackay Saints defender Chayse Tilley.

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"We play a bit more of a team zone defence, so it won't be just the one fella running with him it will be a group," Saints coach Craig Jenkins said.

"If our press works as we expect it to, (Barba) will have a lot harder time of it."

Jenkins said Barba's name had barely been mentioned at training during the week.

His side's sole focus was on the Swans as a unit, and how they might keep their winning streak intact.

"Not to take anything away from Barba, because he's an elite athlete, but we haven't talked about him much - I'm not too fussed. Our team defence will be different to anything that Magpies put up last week," Jenkins said.


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