Hat-trick hero Darius Boyd has earned comparisons with Darren Lockyer from Wayne Bennett after inspiring Brisbane’s drought breaking 26-18 NRL win over Canberra at Suncorp Stadium.
Boyd tore the Raiders’ left edge apart to nab three tries in 14 minutes, helping Brisbane grab a 24-0 early second half lead before holding out the Raiders on Thursday night.
The fullback was expected to receive praise from hard marking coach Bennett after helping the Broncos snap a worrying three game losing run.
But few would have expected the huge compliment the master mentor gave when the dust settled on their much needed victory.
Bennett believed Boyd was not only getting close to his career best 2010 Clive Churchill Medal winning form for the premiership-winning Dragons.
He claimed Boyd was also nudging the great Lockyer.
“In 2010 at the Dragons he was in the Darren Lockyer mould at fullback,” Bennett said of Boyd.
“And perhaps he’s approaching that again.”
Boyd ran for 174m and had three line breaks for Brisbane as they snapped Canberra’s three game winning run.
Bennett believed Boyd had not looked back since being named Test fullback for May’s trans-Tasman clash.
A month later Boyd had earned another first – the Queensland No.1 jersey.
Suddenly Boyd did not worry about the Achilles he tore last year or the off-field dramas that had plagued him not so long ago.
In Bennett’s eyes, Boyd’s representative selection at fullback “made his career”.
“He’s always been searching for excellence,” Bennett said.
“He’s had good periods since 2010 but not as good as he was back then.
“But now he’s got his confidence back, he’s gotten over his Achilles, all that stuff.
“Being picked for Queensland and Australia probably made his career – it means a lot to him.”
“I got a lot of confidence playing that Test match,” said Boyd who scored his second career hat-trick and first since 2008.
“And playing with a quality (Queensland) spine like Smithy (Cameron Smith), Coops (Cooper Cronk) and Johnno (Johnathan Thurston) was great for me.”
Asked if he was getting back to his 2010 form, Boyd said: “It’s hard to say.
“It was a really enjoyable time in my life back then.
“But now I am back enjoying myself again and I guess that is all you can do.
“This (three try display) is a good stepping stone.”
Boyd was inspirational despite suffering an early neck complaint from a suspected crusher tackle by Raiders prop Junior Paulo that may come under scrutiny from the match review panel.