Darius Boyd has been rejuvenated by his move from fullback to five-eighth. Picture: Getty Image
Darius Boyd has been rejuvenated by his move from fullback to five-eighth. Picture: Getty Image

Boyd keen to keep going after shock switch

DARIUS Boyd has hit back at suggestions he should retire with the Broncos skipper declaring he will play on next season in the wake of his shock switch to five-eighth.

Boyd celebrated his 32nd birthday with a 28-6 demolition of the Bulldogs on Thursday night and has now set a longer-term goal of captaining the Broncos to a premiership in 2020.

Brisbane's most decorated player has been buffeted by the most savage criticism of his career this season with his detractors lashing his defence as "abysmal" and calling for the 309-game NRL veteran to retire at season's end.

But Boyd has been rejuvenated by his unexpected move from fullback to five-eighth, with the former Origin ace producing five tackle-busts and two try-assists in a commanding display against the Bulldogs.

Boyd is contracted to the Broncos until the end of 2021 and is adamant he will suit up for a 15th season next year, confident in the fact Brisbane's posse of young guns can sense a premiership on the horizon.

Asked if he has the mental desire to soldier on next season ahead of Saturday's derby against the Titans at Robina, Boyd was unequivocal.

"Yes I do," he said.

 

Boyd is adamant he will suit up for a 15th season next year. Picture: AAP
Boyd is adamant he will suit up for a 15th season next year. Picture: AAP

"Whether my performances have been good, bad or indifferent this year, I have had some really good performances and I think the Bulldogs game was one of them.

"That gives me the confidence (to play on next year).

"I know I have to keep proving to myself and others as well that I can do the job."

Asked if he will see out his entire deal, Boyd said: "It would be more of a mental thing than anything. Body wise it is fine. This week I feel great but last week I felt terrible after the game.

"My body feels good from a physical point of view but it is probably backing up and all that type of stuff that gets harder and harder."

Boyd is contracted to the Broncos until the end of 2021. Picture: AAP
Boyd is contracted to the Broncos until the end of 2021. Picture: AAP

Boyd lost his first two games as a five-eighth but his maiden triumph at pivot on Thursday night was headlined by a sublime 52nd-minute cut-out pass for Corey Oates' try which inspired Brisbane's second-half surge.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold copped some brickbats for moving Boyd to five-eighth, but so far, the former fullback is relishing frontline duties.

"I've been doing it (his pass for Oates' try) for over 10 years now and it is my best play," Boyd said.

"That is why I think five-eighth is working for me because 'Seibs' has a game plan where we still play the same shapes.

"I am playing a lot of second receiver as a five-eighth which I kind of did as fullback. The only difference is my defence in the frontline and not returning kicks.

"That is what gives me a lot of confidence to play five-eighth. I am still doing the basically the same role in attack and I have always backed myself defensively anyway."

Boyd is enjoying himself after being shifted to the No.6 by Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.
Boyd is enjoying himself after being shifted to the No.6 by Broncos coach Anthony Seibold.

Seibold said Boyd's move to five-eighth has brought the spark back to his game.

"Talking to him after the game, he has a smile on his face again and it's good to see," he said.

"At the end of the day, it's sport and we love footy because we played it as kids.

"Sometimes we get too serious about it. It's not the end of the world if a player plays a bad game but it's how they react to that and Darius has shown the last three weeks he has reacted positively.

"I am really proud of him. He is suited to five-eighth which is the main thing."

News Corp Australia


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