"There's probably no better sight than seeing this freak flying."
Those words from Ipswich Jets half Dane Phillips are among the tributes flowing in for Marmin Barba as he looks to establish a club record for tries in the Intrust Super Cup.
Barba's double last week against Redcliffe moved him to equal first place with Donald Malone on 67 tries in Jets colours.
With four rounds and possible finals appearances remaining for the Jets in 2018, it's a better-than-even bet to assume the prolific try-scorer will improve his tally in coming weeks.
"His speed is only matched by his game awareness and that's what a lot of people don't understand," teammate Phillips said.
Jets forward Ben Shea, formerly of Wynnum Manly, said that Barba was a "nightmare to play against".
"He can create scoring opportunities from anywhere on the field and has the try-scoring ability to finish off tries that the majority of other players cannot.
"He's a great teammate; laidback in attitude and brings a lot of humour to lighten the mood at training and before games."
Coaches Ben and Shane Walker still rave about Barba's influence on the 2015 Intrust Super Cup grand final, when the Jets overcame the Townsville Blackhawks.
"Never before has someone influenced a grand final more and never got tackled," they commented.
Fellow flyer Wes Conlon said Barba's key was his ability to go from a standing start to top speed in the blink of an eye.
Born in Darwin but a product of Norths Mackay Devils, Barba first debuted for the Jets in 2014.
He is the brother of similarly prolific Intrust Super Cup performers Aaron and Rod Barba, and of former Dally M winner Ben, now with St Helens in England.
Club statistician Michael Nunn said that poor record-keeping in the early years of the Jets – prior to Intrust Super Cup – meant it could not be ascertained if Marmin was an all-time leader for the club, stretching back to the former Brisbane Rugby League when players like Allan Langer wore Jets colours.
However, he said the law of probabilities suggested that it was unlikely anybody had amassed a similar try-scoring total, based on the number of seasons they had available to do so.
The Jets face the Sunshine Coast Falcons at North Ipswich Reserve at 3pm Saturday, with both teams coming off one-point wins in Round 20.
Coincidentally, the last time the two clubs met, Ipswich won by one-point courtesy of Sam Caslick.