Bennett effect buoys Boyd's NRL career - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennett effect buoys Boyd's NRL career

By Wayne Heming 01/07/2010 04:11:09 PM Comments (0)

Dragons coach Wayne Bennett chuckles whenever he hears he came down hard on fullback Darius Boyd after his bizarre media interview in Wollongong 12 months ago.

A moody Boyd left journalists flummoxed with a series of "yep" and "nope" responses to eight questions before they lost patience and left.

Bennett later personally apologised to a number of journalists for Boyd's shortness.

But he never, as some have suggested, dragged Boyd over the coals.

"My wife Trish said she'd read an article today where I'd criticised Darius or spoken harshly to him about his interview," said Bennett on Thursday.

"I said: 'Trish, I'm many things, but I try extremely hard not to be a hypocrite," he added laughing.

"How could I, of all people, come down on Darius for the interview when I've conducted some of the worst interviews the media has ever had."

Those interviews of course were more a case of Bennett ensuring the media only heard what he wanted them to hear.

In Boyd's case it was a young footballer not in the mood to talk.

Boyd has come a long way since.

The 22-year-old opened up at Queensland's Origin team camp on Thursday with an insightful interview touching on his painful exit from the Broncos and Bennett's important role in his life.

Boyd was shattered when Brisbane told him they didn't want him in for 2009.

At the time, Bennett was packing up to head to the Dragons following 21 years and six premierships at Red Hill.

He'd advised the club to sign up its players, never expecting Boyd, who'd been discovered as a tentative 18-year-old, to be released.

"He (Boyd) came to me with tears in his eyes," Bennett told AAP.

"I said: 'what's happened' and he said 'they don't want me'.

"I said to him: 'don't worry about it, I'll take you with me ....I'd love you to come to the Dragons, so let's go and get it sorted out' and we did."

As he's done with so many players - most recently with Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward - Bennett has instilled belief and confidence in Boyd since switching him from wing to fullback that has elevated his game to a new level.

Bennett has drawn comparisons between Boyd and Brisbane champion Darren Lockyer with whom he shared so much success with at club and representative level.

"I can't fault Darius. There's not one thing at training he doesn't do to perfection. I do ratings for players on all aspects of what they do, the similarities (with Lockyer) are uncanny," notes Bennett.

Boyd is clearly taken aback and flattered by such comparisons.

"Wayne's a very big part of my footy career and my life," he said.

"It's a big rap. I have enormous respect for Wayne. He's someone I admire and cherish as a friend."

Boyd said Bennett has always known when something is bothering him.

"I'm pretty quiet. I bottle a few things up at times but Wayne is great at detecting when something is wrong," he said.

"I don't really talk to him that much, but if something is bothering you, there's something about Wayne, he just knows something's wrong.

"He'll pull you aside and just chat to you.

"He's someone you can really confide in. He's great like that, you can't really hide too much from him.

"He's just a great person to have in your life."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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