I agree with your Boyd observation. There were two occasions where Oates looked ready to score if Boyd gave the pass, but on both plays Gagai was just sweating on Boyd passing as both times he was in prime position to pull off the intercept and run the length of the field to score (it's an origin special of his).I rewatched the game and I have to say i think the kennedy hate is unwarranted. People are citing the penalties he gave on the tryline however the first was given for holding down, which was a good penalty because both he and isaako were still on the ground when roberts was attempting to play the ball. Without two people in our line we would have been at risk. The second was for hand on the ball against burgess who basically lost it on his own accord via a typical burgess loose carry. Otherwise his game was solid.
Interestingly, Katoni's defensive reads at 6 were better than his reads at centre. When he was at half, our right side looked pretty solid.
Oates had a better game than given credit for. He made some strong hit ups. Later in the game he had some hit ups later in the tackle count and got some quick play the balls so we could kick on the front foot (unfortunately milford dropped one of them which may have resulted in a forty twenty).
Boyd had a pretty impressive game. His defensive reads shut down a lot of souths attack. He was off the line very quick, cutting off roberts and sua's time with the ball.
Boyd has got blame for not passing the ball to oates in attack, but he didnt have much opportunity either. When the ball went left, it typically went to fifita who ran. A couple opportunities early in the game were actually missed because the ball didnt get passed on to boyd and oates. When boyd did get the ball, gagai was right there and pushing the pass would have been a bad idea. Perhaps the cut out pass from milford to oates could be an option as the defence comes in on fifita and the winger on boyd.
Although macca may not have had his best game, you cant fault his defensive efforts in the last 20. He was often making cover tackles and stopped walker going over.
Luckily Boyd resisted the temptation Gagai put in front of him as his old head told him what was the likely outcome. Both times my heart was in my mouth, both times I gave Boyd the praise he deserved for the read. On another occasion in the first half Boyd absolutely gave to Su'a in a tackle and laid him out on his back. Familiarity certainly does breed contempt