Joey puts under-fire NRL star on blast
NRL Immortal Andrew Johns has given under-fire fullback Darius Boyd a harsh reality check after the Broncos captain insisted he was still in good form.
Boyd was universally lashed after the Broncos' disappointing 38-6 thrashing to the Rabbitohs last round, giving long-time mentor Wayne Bennett a delicious moment of revenge over the club that sacked him and the man who took his job.
Calls have come for Boyd to be dropped alongside underperforming backs James Roberts and Jamayne Isaako as coach Anthony Seibold fights to keep his head above water. Johns urged Seibold to "read the Riot Act" to his skipper as they prepare to take on the in-form Sea Eagles on Friday.
"I've got to disagree with that (form claim) from Darius," Johns said.
"I think the coach just has to read the Riot Act to him and say, 'You've got a month. If you don't perform in that month then (you're gone); I'm going to put some young blood in there'.
Johns added that Red Hill "lacked leadership" early in the season after slumping to 13th on the ladder with just two wins to their name.
Boyd has copped the brunt of the Broncos backlash and knows what fans expect from the six-time premiers.
"Definitely (finals) is fair expectation, the Broncos are based on premierships over a long period of time," he said yesterday.
"It's been well documented we haven't won one for a while (since 2006), but we were a couple of seconds away in 2015. It's a young group - that's the roster we have - but we still expect to be in a better position."
Meanwhile, Seibold has declared no issue with Roberts staying at the Broncos, but it's up to the out-of-form centre to prove himself to the club.
The NSW State of Origin representative's axing comes amid growing rumours Roberts is unhappy at the Broncos and is seeking a return to Sydney.
Seibold says his decision to axe Roberts was down to form and is not an indication of any falling out between the pair.
"He hasn't come to me and spoken about wanting to move or anything like that but at the end of the day we're an organisation that needs to choose our team on merit each week," the Broncos coach said.
"This week James isn't in it, next week he might be. We'll see how this group of 17 players goes." Roberts, who has played with South Sydney, Penrith and Gold Coast, has a year and a half left on his Broncos contract.
Seibold says if the 26-year-old applies himself and shows a desire to perform for the club there's no reason he can't stayat Red Hill.
"When Jimmy's at his very best he's a State of Origin-quality player," Seibold said.
"It's my job to help him be at his very best and he's obviously got to want to be at his very best as well.
"This happens at every single team across every single sport where you make some decisions about giving players opportunities and taking some players out of the team."
- with AAP