Boyd gamble doesn’t pay off for Broncos

Brisbane’s gamble playing skipper Darius Boyd and Corey Oates has failed to pay dividends with the duo off the pace in their 30-0 NRL preliminary final loss to Melbourne.

Fullback Boyd looked injured from the opening whistle at AAMI Park, with his hamstring obviously restricting his movement.

Boyd missed the Broncos’ previous two games with the injury and, coupled with the loss of his grandmother this week, looked burdened through the match.

“His hamstring is shot,” former Test great Andrew Johns said on the Network Nine commentary.

“It affects how Brisbane attack.”

Boyd was replaced just 12 minutes into the second half, with Benji Marshall coming on at halfback and Kodi Nikorima shifting to fullback, with the Broncos’ attack immediately more threatening.

Winger Oates was backing up after he was knocked out in a sickening on-field collision during his team’s semi-final win over Penrith last week.

Brisbane were adamant he passed all medical tests to be fit for the sudden-death encounter.

Oates missed a key opportunity to give his side the lead early in the first half when his opposite Suliasi Vunivalu knocked the ball from his hands as he appeared destined to score the game’s opening try.

Vunivalu and fellow Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr outplayed Oates and Jordan Kahu, with Addo-Carr scoring a crucial try just a minute before full-time.

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