The State of Origin decider has saved Darius Boyd’s shaky first grade position and captaincy at the besieged Brisbane Broncos for one week.
The State of Origin decider has saved Darius Boyd’s shaky first grade position and captaincy at the besieged Brisbane Broncos for one week.

Boyd on the brink at Broncos

He misses more tackles, runs fewer metres and scores less tries than his fullback rivals. It is only the player drain of Origin III that has spared Broncos captain Darius Boyd from the axe. 

Only the fact Matt Gillett, Joe Ofahengaue, David Fifita and Corey Oates are unavailable this weekend on Maroons duties has forced coach Anthony Seibold to retain Boyd for his experience.

Fullback Anthony Milford and winger Jamayne Isaako are also out this weekend and possibly longer.

If Boyd fails to perform against the Sharks on Saturday night, his position in the team will be in grave doubt for the following game against the Warriors when all players are back.

 

Questions are being asked whether Boyd still wants to play. Image: AAP Image/Darren Pateman
Questions are being asked whether Boyd still wants to play. Image: AAP Image/Darren Pateman

 

Boyd's 2019 statistics, in his first year without Wayne Bennett, tell the story of a forgettable season.

  • He misses more tackles than any other fullback in the game.
  • He averages only 94 running metres, way behind James Tedesco (171), Tom Trbojevic (164), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (167) or Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (167).
  • He has scored only one try compared to Tedesco (8) and Nicoll-Klokstad (6).

 

The Broncos skipper just hasn’t got out of first gear this season. Image: Tony Feder/Getty Images
The Broncos skipper just hasn’t got out of first gear this season. Image: Tony Feder/Getty Images

 

More obvious is his apparent lack of intent and desire.

On Fox Sports, former premiership-winning hooker Michael Ennis didn't hold back.

"I just feel through his body language that I don't see the love or that hunger for the game anymore," Ennis said.

"I don't see it in him. I just question whether Darius wants to play anymore."

The problem for the Broncos is that Boyd is on $800,000 a season for the next two years.

And many believe it would be almost disrespectful to ask him to play QLD Cup.

Yet the pressure is mounting on Seibold with every loss and the glaring lack of on-field direction and leadership.

The Broncos are now facing the almost impossible task of winning eight from 10 games to make the finals.

Boyd was moved to five-eighth against the Newcastle Knights last weekend to try to improve his involvement. He had only two runs for eight metres.

Out of respect to Boyd, Seibold is reluctant to comment on his skipper's poor form or single out any individuals for criticism.

Yet at some stage there needs be that difficult conversation about his long-term future.

A player on $2.4 million until the end of 2021 can't be left to languish in QLD Cup.