Fit and firing Boyd keen to stay at fullback for Broncos
For one of the few occasions in the past decade, Darius Boyd is approaching September football without having a physically and mentally taxing State of Origin series behind him as he targets leading the Broncos deep into the finals from his favoured fullback position.
The 31-year-old Broncos captain is fit and firing ahead of the blockbuster clash with the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night and, if all goes to plan, the coming finals series.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has switched Boyd back to his preferred fullback position after experimenting with him at centre and Jamayne Isaako in the custodian's role in recent weeks.
Back in the No.1 jersey, Boyd played a starring role in his side's 38-18 win over South Sydney last Thursday.
Boyd, who retired from representative football earlier this year, has forged a reputation as one of the best link men in the game with his silky right to left passes a feature of his play. Boyd passes led to a pair of Corey Oates tries last weekend.
Early in the season, Boyd had to answer questions about the hamstring injury that marred the back end of 2017 and was still an issue in the early part of 2018.
After getting on top of that, and not playing for Queensland, Boyd said he is in great physical shape.
"I am feeling pretty good and I think I'll even get the benefits next year with a good off-season as well. I feel like I am getting better, and better body-wise, throughout this year," he said.
"I thought I had a good game [against Souths] and it is just about backing that up. We are calling a few shapes that involve me ... and I got a lot of confidence out of the game.
"I feel refreshed not having played that rep footy coming into finals."
The Broncos unfurled more attacking "shapes" that got Boyd into ball playing situations last week and that often reaps dividends on the scoreboard.
"Throwing in a bit of shape probably gets me with the ball in my hands a bit more, so it was good for me personally to get a bit of confidence back with the ball," he said.
"I know what I can do in those situations."
While prepared to shift position if asked by the coach, Boyd wants to remain at fullback.
"I am happy to do whatever is most successful for the team. Fullback is my best position but I thought it worked pretty well when I was in the centres as well.
"If I can keep performing like I did on the weekend I'd like to stay at fullback."
The Broncos are on 28 Telstra Premiership points and on track for finals football and possibly a home semi. A top four finish seems beyond them, but Boyd was adamant that winning the competition from outside the top four was not a pipe dream.
"Finals is a new ball game. There is a lot of pressure and the big game players come out to play," Boyd said.
"We've got the best coach to get us through those times as well. I really think it is an open race. It is there to be taken. We know we are a good chance."