'Bronco's Have To Risk Boyd' Says QLD Greats

"it's a do-or-die game"

'Bronco's Have To Risk Boyd' Says QLD Greats Getty Images

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga says Brisbane have no choice but to roll the dice and play recovering Test fullback Darius Boyd in Friday night's knockout NRL semi-final against Penrith.

The Broncos are expected to make a final call on Boyd's troublesome hamstring at training on Thursday after naming their skipper as 18th man.

But Meninga believes it is a no-brainer, saying Brisbane have to pick Boyd after last week's 24-22 loss to Sydney Roosters plunged them into sudden-death football.

"I think he has to, it's a do-or-die game," Meninga told Fox Sports' Queenslanders Only.

"It's whether he is fit enough to get through the match. You don't want to risk his health but Darius is experienced enough to deal with that."

Former Brisbane skipper Justin Hodges agrees the Broncos' best chance of keeping their title tilt alive was Boyd returning to fullback.

He hopes Boyd's return will allow Kodi Nikorima to reunite with Anthony Milford in the halves with veteran Benji Marshall relegated to the bench.

"You can't look forward to next week because you might not be there," Hodges said of Brisbane's call on Boyd.

"If he is close to 100 per cent he has to play.

"Put Kodi back in the halves because his combination with Milford has been unbelievable and hopefully Benji is put back to the bench."

Maroons great Billy Moore believes Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett "pulled the wrong rein" with his solution to replacing Boyd against the Roosters.

He started pint-sized speedster David Mead at No.1 for the first 20 minutes before injecting the diminutive Nikorima into the custodian role.

"It just didn't work," Moore told Queenslanders Only.

"It upset the combination in the spine which had worked well with Nikorima and Milford (in the halves).

"I think they have played together 11 times and won 10.

"To me it smelt of a knee-jerk reaction that just didn't work."

- AAP

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