I reckon there will be two extra big cheers when the faces and numbers of the Broncos players are shown on the Suncorp Stadium big screen ahead of Friday night’s clash against the Sharks.
The first will be for number nine, Jake Turpin, and the second for number one Darius Boyd. Turpin will get a big welcome because he is back in the side after an enforced layoff due to injury, and Boyd will earn ironic applause because he is playing in the position where he should have been weeks ago.
At hooker and fullback Turpin and Boyd are not just at opposite ends of the team list, they are also at opposite ends of their careers. Turpin, at 23 years of age, is just starting out. Boyd, 33, is almost at the end of what has been an incredible journey. On Friday night they run out together with plenty to play for.
Turpin was one of the bright spots for the Broncos last season with his speed and enthusiasm. His energy has been sadly missing since he broke a bone in his leg in the first match back after the Covid resumption. It was that game, the 48-nil loss to the Eels, which set the tone for the Broncos horror run of nine losses from ten starts and rightly or wrongly, Boyd has copped much of the blame. His defence at left centre has been targeted by every team the Broncos have faced this season and despite pleas from commentators and Boyd himself for a move back to fullback, coach Anthony Seibold has steadfastly refused to hand him the number one jersey.
Finally, with Brisbane’s shocking injury toll continuing and Anthony MiIlford needed to cover the absence of Brodie Croft at five-eighth, Boyd gets his chance to turn back the clock. At his peak Boyd was the best fullback in the game and with just nine games left in his career, he deserves the chance to go out with dignity.
I reckon he’ll be out to have a huge one against the beatable Sharks on Friday night – and so will that young ball of energy Jake Turpin.
What do YOU reckon?