Darius Boyd was once the most dependable member of a star-studded Queensland backline. Now, he’s lucky to still be in the NRL.
Darius Boyd was once the most dependable member of a star-studded Queensland backline. Now, he’s lucky to still be in the NRL.

Footy icon’s alarming fall from grace

The Broncos were awful across the board last night but Darius Boyd has come under special scrutiny.

The NRL veteran, who will retire at the end of this season, has been a shell of his former self, spending much of the year getting exposed while playing out of position at left centre.

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Ex-coach Anthony Seibold recently moved Boyd back to his preferred spot of fullback but the 33-year-old had a shocker in his side's 58-12 drubbing at the hands of the Roosters on Friday.

The experienced campaigner has played 333 NRL games, as well as 28 State of Origins for Queensland and 23 Tests for the Kangaroos. But against the tri-colours, he looked like a man whose time at the top has run out.

Much of the scrutiny focused on a moment where Boyd was side-stepped by Roosters forward Nat Butcher and wrong-footed to the point where he hit the turf and couldn't even lay a hand on the 23-year-old, who crossed for a second-half try.

Butcher scooped up the ball 45m out from Brisbane's tryline after a loose passage of play and burst through some dreadful attempted tackles from the Broncos before bearing down on Boyd, who was the last line of defence.

A simple right-foot step saw the former Brisbane skipper stutter, then slowly sink to the ground.

Boyd came in for plenty of criticism on social media.

Channel 9 sports reporter Mark Gottlieb tweeted: "Another Darius Boyd lowlight for the memes.

"Seibold would've bought himself some love from fans if he'd dropped Boyd. He refused to do it and copped a hammering. Boyd rewarded him by not so subtly taking digs at Seibold in the media after moving back to FB recently. Probably won't be so talkative after tonight."

NRL Scores: Round 16 match centres

RELATED: Broncos savaged after Roosters thumping

It’s been a real head-scratcher of a season for Brisbane.
It’s been a real head-scratcher of a season for Brisbane.

Fellow Nine journalist Jelisa Apps said: "Darius Boyd has absolutely zero intention of putting his body on the line. Just phoning the end of his career in."

Ex-NRL player turned media personality Jimmy Smith wrote: "Will (caretaker coach) Peter Gentle drop Darius Boyd?"

Sports writer Christian Nicolussi added: "It's seriously painful watching Darius Boyd. End of season can't come quick enough."

Simon Orchard said the Broncos should tell Boyd to quit now. "He plays with no conviction, no urgency, and seemingly no courage. Indicative of our side atm," he tweeted.

Boyd's final season in the NRL has been a miserable one on a personal and collective front. He was stripped of the captaincy, quit the leadership group midway through the season because of a relationship breakdown with Seibold and the Broncos sit second-last on the ladder, suffering through the worst year in their history.

Before Seibold and the Broncos parted ways this week, Boyd said club legend Kevin Walters would be the ideal man to take over as head coach.

 

Originally published as Footy icon's alarming fall from grace



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