'Get your body right': Boyd's advice for injured Roberts
April 3, 2019
Broncos captain Darius Boyd has encouraged star centre James Roberts to be diligent with his rehab on an injured Achilles that has proved to be a ticking time bomb.
Roberts has been ruled out of the clash with the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night with an aggravation of the complaint which hampered his 2018 season.
Kotoni Staggs will move from the bench to start in the centres where a showdown with NSW centre Latrell Mitchell looms.
Roberts scored a 90m try in the 25-24 loss to the Dragons last Thursday night where he aggravated his Achilles injury.
He was hobbling at training on Tuesday but not with the main group which led to speculation amongst journalists that he may have been dropped. Boyd said he was "definitely not dropped" but needed a rest for his long-term well being.
"He is a bit of a Ferrari old Jimmy. He runs fast and we need him to be at his best but his Achilles is hampering him a little bit so he is having a rest this week so hopefully we can get it right for next week," Boyd said.
"Staggs gets his opportunity and he is a young kid with a lot of talent and very competitive. Jimmy played Origin last year and is at the prime of his career but we need Jimmy at his best and doing the little things well. It is an opportunity for him to have a rest and get his body right."
Boyd snapped his Achilles in the pre-season of 2015 but returned to play ahead of schedule. The Brisbane captain is a stickler for covering all bases in his rehab.
Roberts showed great courage to play through his injury last year but Broncos staff want him to be more diligent with his rehab exercises which Boyd said was the key to recovery.
"There are a lot of things you can do with calf strength in particular," Boyd said.
"I didn't have the pain so much, mine just kind of went. Jimmy’s hasn't gone, which is lucky, but he need to do a lot of calf work. That is the key, to strengthen other areas because the Achilles is a hard one to work on."
Boyd said he also had to work on his defensive decision making after going for intercepts when Jesse Bromwich and Cameron McInnes broke through the line for tries for the Storm and the Dragons.
"When they do come through, I've got to make the right decision which is tackling the guy and not going for the intercept," Boyd said.
"That is my fault and something I need to fix up. Collectively, defence wins games and in big games we need to defend well."
The Broncos welcome Matt Lodge back from suspension with Tevita Pangai Jnr set to start at lock and Matt Gillett moving to the right edge where Boyd said he would stiffen up the defensive line.
Boyd said the Broncos were still searching for consistency and would need to be at their the best against the premiers. Nullifying an on-fire James Tedesco and Luke Keary is high on the agenda but with Cooper Cronk set to return from injury at halfback the Broncos' job has got tougher.
"Keary is the one that runs the ball a lot more and really works off the back of Cooper steering the ship.