Badel Warning The Bunker: Boyd positional switch only way to fix Brisbane’s broken spine

McHunt

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TL;DR: let's try hiding him in the centres. Maybe he'll do less damage there.
.....

The Bunker: Boyd positional switch only way to fix Brisbane’s broken spine

Peter Badel,
The Bunker, The Courier-Mail
August 6, 2019 7:00pm

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The Broncos have made a mess of their playmaking spine. For that reason, skipper Darius Boyd should be moved from five-eighth to centre to prolong his NRL career at a time when the Broncos need every scintilla of experience to guide their rookies through the turbulence of the next 12 to 18 months. Clubs are ultimately judged on winning premierships. Broncos coach Anthony Seibold would probably beg to differ to my assessment, but right now, the Broncos cannot break the longest title drought in their history with the composition of their present playmaking spine.

The Darius Boyd five-eighth experiment must end. Picture: AAP

The Darius Boyd five-eighth experiment must end. Picture: AAP

A scrumbase alliance of 32-year-old Boyd, teamed with either Jake Turpin or Tom Dearden at halfback, is not the magical formula that will deliver Brisbane to the promised premiership land. Brisbane have a wonderful batch of young forwards that can help the club build the Broncos’ next golden dynasty. But history shows premierships are not won without a dominant nerve centre that capitalises on forward firepower. What’s the point in the likes of Payne Haas, Matt Lodge, Tevita Pangai Jr and Tom Flegler churning out the metres, consistently winning the ruck, if the Broncos don’t have the right playmaking mix to pull the trigger in clutch moments?

Seibold’s Anthony Milford sacrifice. Picture: Getty

Seibold’s Anthony Milford sacrifice. Picture: Getty

Such is Anthony Milford’s talent, he can be a fine fullback but he is still the best five-eighth option on Brisbane’s roster – and a superior pivot in terms of skill-set to Boyd. Anyone who disputes Milford’s ability to fire at five-eighth should rewind to the 2015 grand final, when he was the best player on the park in the Broncos’ No.6 jumper and would have won the Clive Churchill Medal if not for Johnathan Thurston’s field-goal heroics. Since then, Milford has improved as a playmaker. His short, tactical kicking in the past two seasons has been a genuine weapon and a bedrock for the performance that won him Brisbane’s player-of-the-year award last year.

Anthony Milford is Brisbane’s best five-eighth option. Picture: AAP

Anthony Milford is Brisbane’s best five-eighth option. Picture: AAP

Milford at five-eighth was never Brisbane’s problem. Their real problem is finding a dominant, controlling voice at halfback to give Milford the freedom to ignite his running game and play what he sees without the burden of organisation. By shifting Boyd, who was struggling at fullback, and tweaking Milford’s role, Seibold has raised the danger of weakening one position to strengthen another. Since pulling the Big Switch six weeks ago, the Broncos have had some joy with Boyd at five-eighth against bottom-ranked sides, but last week against Melbourne, the best team of the decade, the pitfalls were brutally laid bare. Boyd had one run for five metres and, while his defence in the frontline has been excellent, the skipper lacks the natural short or long kicking game to build pressure. In the past four years at five-eighth, Milford averaged 106 running metres per game at five-eighth and amassed 57 try assists.

Jamayne Isaako was being groomed as Boyd’s long-term fullback replacement. Picture: Getty

Jamayne Isaako was being groomed as Boyd’s long-term fullback replacement. Picture: Getty

Last season, he had 20 forced dropouts, four more than Cooper Cronk, the champion halfback who steered the Roosters to the 2018 premiership. None of this is a shot at Boyd, who has shown remarkable longevity to compile 311 NRL games, but rather his tactical deployment which has only further destabilised Brisbane’s spine. The answer is for Milford to return to his familiar role at five-eighth, where, at age 25, he can build a long-term partnership with 18-year-old Dearden. By moving to centre, Boyd can still offer experience, attacking nous and defensive reliability on an edge without the enormous aerobic and physical demands now imposed on modern-day fullbacks. For the past three years, Brisbane were grooming Jamayne Isaako to succeed Boyd at fullback. He has the speed and the fresh legs to handle the role and, in time, can develop the passing game that Storm champion Billy Slater learned in the second phase of his career.
 

Unbreakable

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It makes sense.. if we can't get rid of him, left centre is probably the position he'll cause the least damage to us. I'd have no issue with this being our 17 for next season, under the provisions that Glenn gets a fat payday from the Titans and Gillett retires due to health issues, both of which I think are looking more and more likely.

1. Milford
2. Oates
3. Boyd
4. Staggs
5. Isaako / Coates / Farnworth (Pre-Season battle)
6. Bird (If healthy, motivated and still at the club)
7. Dearden
8. Lodge
9. Turpin (I know, this will probably be McCullough)
10. Haas
11. Fifita
12. Pangai Jr
13. Carrigan / Ofahengaue (Pre-Season battle)

14. Segeyaro
15. Ofahengaue / Carrigan
16. Flegler
17. <New signing>
 
He needs to be out of the team. He probably has a TPA with Fox or something, so if he isn't playing he isn't the face of the club and Fox don't pay his TPA so the club has to. Cap issues ensue etc etc.
 

Dazza 92

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It makes sense.. if we can't get rid of him, left centre is probably the position he'll cause the least damage to us. I'd have no issue with this being our 17 for next season, under the provisions that Glenn gets a fat payday from the Titans and Gillett retires due to health issues, both of which I think are looking more and more likely.

1. Milford
2. Oates
3. Boyd
4. Staggs
5. Isaako / Coates / Farnworth (Pre-Season battle)
6. Bird (If healthy, motivated and still at the club)
7. Dearden
8. Lodge
9. Turpin (I know, this will probably be McCullough)
10. Haas
11. Fifita
12. Pangai Jr
13. Carrigan / Ofahengaue (Pre-Season battle)

14. Segeyaro
15. Ofahengaue / Carrigan
16. Flegler
17. <New signing>
why would we make a new signing 17th on our depth chart..??? Surely a new signing is one that improves the first team..? If its a depth signing i feel confident we have that already..??

Can you tell me what your thoughts are for this..?
 

NSW stables

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why would we make a new signing 17th on our depth chart..??? Surely a new signing is one that improves the first team..? If its a depth signing i feel confident we have that already..??

Can you tell me what your thoughts are for this..?
Agreed. Besides, i think kennedy has done alright with the opportunities he has been given and will only get better with more time in the team.
 

mrslong

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He's right though. Milford is our best 6. The team needs some experience. Darius isn't good enough to be in the spine, move him to 4. It was good enough for Hodges it should be good enough for Darius.

I am sick of the pussy footing around by the media about Darius's form. I wish they would rip in to him even half as much as they ripped in to Lockyer at the start of 2006.
 

Unbreakable

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why would we make a new signing 17th on our depth chart..??? Surely a new signing is one that improves the first team..? If its a depth signing i feel confident we have that already..??

Can you tell me what your thoughts are for this..?
There's 17 players in an NRL team, if he's 17th on the depth charts, he's improving the first team...

The thinking is that if we're losing Glenn & Gillett, we're going to need another experienced forward, I don't think Tagatese & Fensom are going to cut it. We'll also have ZERO edge back row depth if we lose both of those guys, unless you're putting all your eggs in the Keenan Palasia basket.

Mitchell Aubusson would be an ideal candidate, despite his age, he's still effective, can play anywhere, wouldn't demand much money and would be great senior leader around the boys. There's quite a few of those style of players around, it's just a matter of looking. Kurt Capewell is another who would be great in that role. John Asiata, Michael Chee-Kam, etc.
 

Nashy

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If he MUST be in the team, and not benched, throw him out on the wing, and never throw the ball to him.
 

abashii

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If he MUST be in the team, and not benched, throw him out on the wing, and never throw the ball to him.
The wing's definitely not the right place for him. He's broken, not shit - if his body could stand up to the running and other work required we may as well put him in as fullback. But it looks like he's not up to it any more and having a shot duck on the wing would be pretty fucked.
 

Nashy

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The wing's definitely not the right place for him. He's broken, not shit - if his body could stand up to the running and other work required we may as well put him in as fullback. But it looks like he's not up to it any more and having a shot duck on the wing would be pretty fucked.
I went with wing, more because I think he would be old enough to buy into the "wingers are nothing" mentality.
 

abashii

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I went with wing, more because I think he would be old enough to buy into the "wingers are nothing" mentality.
Dunno about that. It's made me think though, the constant negativity is counter-productive. Boyd is a far better player than the meme he's made out to be on the internet, if people keep mocking him he's got more incentive to play another year and go out showing people he's still a gun player. Whereas if people were to constantly remember how bloody good he can be and that he's got nothing left to prove to anyone, our multi origin winning multi premiership winning Clive Churchill medalist might be more able to call time on his storied career.
 

theshed

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Dunno about that. It's made me think though, the constant negativity is counter-productive. Boyd is a far better player than the meme he's made out to be on the internet, if people keep mocking him he's got more incentive to play another year and go out showing people he's still a gun player. Whereas if people were to constantly remember how bloody good he can be and that he's got nothing left to prove to anyone, our multi origin winning multi premiership winning Clive Churchill medalist might be more able to call time on his storied career.
He’s been about as consistent through his career as Hayne but with a quarter of the talent.

He came to us from Newcastle totally despised by their fans and as the joke of the league. Possibly the player most hated by fans of his own team of all time. He had his redemption story, he had a great 2015 and a decent 2016. Then he had a bog average 2017 and an abysmal 2018. His 2019 is even worse than his performances that made him so disgraced in the eyes of Newcastle fans.

He has nothing left to prove because he’s been accused of being a flop his whole career and has proved it beyond doubt. His legacy will be 2015, 2010, and 2009. Very solid seasons in s career of mediocrity.

He doesnt get a chance at a second redemption. It’s over, any spike in form he may have on the way out still won’t justify the last 2 years of negative performances. Add that on top of the stain on his career that is his Newcastle days. No one wants to see a Boyd redemption, we just want you to go away, thanks.

I have no interest in seeing Boyd finish on top, I just want to see him finish.
 
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Nashy

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Dunno about that. It's made me think though, the constant negativity is counter-productive. Boyd is a far better player than the meme he's made out to be on the internet, if people keep mocking him he's got more incentive to play another year and go out showing people he's still a gun player. Whereas if people were to constantly remember how bloody good he can be and that he's got nothing left to prove to anyone, our multi origin winning multi premiership winning Clive Churchill medalist might be more able to call time on his storied career.
I'll never deny what he's done in the past. But his time is well done, and he's gotta go. At this point, I'd actually throw him into Q-Cup, and suck it up, and keep paying him.
 

Dazza 92

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There's 17 players in an NRL team, if he's 17th on the depth charts, he's improving the first team...

The thinking is that if we're losing Glenn & Gillett, we're going to need another experienced forward, I don't think Tagatese & Fensom are going to cut it. We'll also have ZERO edge back row depth if we lose both of those guys, unless you're putting all your eggs in the Keenan Palasia basket.

Mitchell Aubusson would be an ideal candidate, despite his age, he's still effective, can play anywhere, wouldn't demand much money and would be great senior leader around the boys. There's quite a few of those style of players around, it's just a matter of looking. Kurt Capewell is another who would be great in that role. John Asiata, Michael Chee-Kam, etc.
if your thinking Mitch Aubusson then why not simply stick with Lexi..??

I get the thinking...and agree this squad could use the right sort of experienced head in the right position...

Which means for me the weakest part of this squad, halves. that's where you focus your efforts for recruitment...offer them first team football with a eye to help mentor, develop and eventually hand over to the chosen ones (Dearden, Turps) ....

Are we even looking for such a player in the Super league in England..?
 

john1420

NRL Player
if your thinking Mitch Aubusson then why not simply stick with Lexi..??

I get the thinking...and agree this squad could use the right sort of experienced head in the right position...

Which means for me the weakest part of this squad, halves. that's where you focus your efforts for recruitment...offer them first team football with a eye to help mentor, develop and eventually hand over to the chosen ones (Dearden, Turps) ....

Are we even looking for such a player in the Super league in England..?
I'm not sure that he wants Lexi gone, just that he is feeling it's gonna happen

What say you, Unbreakable Unbreakable
 

Unbreakable

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I'm not sure that he wants Lexi gone, just that he is feeling it's gonna happen

What say you, Unbreakable Unbreakable
Correct. I'd happily keep Glenn on a cheap contract, as long as he's willing to play the bench mr. fix it role. As I said, I can see the Titans giving half their roster the ass and offering massive overs to high quality, well behaved veterans. Glenn probably has a $1.8m, 3 year contract waiting for him from the Tits this off-season.
 

Dazza 92

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Correct. I'd happily keep Glenn on a cheap contract, as long as he's willing to play the bench mr. fix it role. As I said, I can see the Titans giving half their roster the ass and offering massive overs to high quality, well behaved veterans. Glenn probably has a $1.8m, 3 year contract waiting for him from the Tits this off-season.
wouldn't put anything past Titans....but cant help but thinking the NRL has a vested interest in the club also, and whatever they have decided to support the club and engage the fan base etc...

...and they too have failed...

so NRL need to have a long hard look at themselves after this fiasco of a season has completed about how exactly they support and engage with clubs like this...

Rant over....
 

john1420

NRL Player
Correct. I'd happily keep Glenn on a cheap contract, as long as he's willing to play the bench mr. fix it role. As I said, I can see the Titans giving half their roster the ass and offering massive overs to high quality, well behaved veterans. Glenn probably has a $1.8m, 3 year contract waiting for him from the Tits this off-season.
And if that happens I'd be sorry to see him leave, but probably sorrier if we matched the offer (only in terms of cap management)
 

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