2010 Clive Churchill winner Darius Boyd

Dragons fullback Darius Boyd was awarded the prestigious Clive Churchill Medal. Picture: DAVE TEASE
Dragons fullback Darius Boyd was awarded the prestigious Clive Churchill Medal. Picture: DAVE TEASE

Todd Carney may have pipped him for the Dally M Medal, but yesterday Darius Boyd had the last laugh.The Dragons fullback capped off a sensational season when he was crowned the 2010 Clive Churchill Medal winner in front of 82,334 fans.The sea of red and white supporters were in raptures when the medal was placed around Boyd's neck.At half-time Mitchell Pearce would have been the award favourite, but a barnstorming second half from the Dragons turned the tide.With their backs to the wall at half-time it was Boyd who ignited a memorable second-half resurgence.

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  • FOR FULL COVERAGE SEE MONDAY’S MERCURYThe former Bronco, who looked threatening each time he took the ball to the line, threw a magic cut-out ball in front of Mark Gasnier to hit Jason Nightingale on the chest.The Dragons winger still had a bit of work to do but he managed to weave his way through traffic to send the Dragons to the front for the second time in the match - and they were never headed.But like all great fullbacks, Boyd showed he was just as important in defence.He saved his side on a number of occasions, showing great hands under the high ball with plenty of Roosters charging towards him.The slippery conditions wouldn't have made it easy for the 23-year-old, but he insisted he wasn't fazed by the weather."It was a little bit hard," Boyd said. "Through the year you have a few games like that."And it's always pretty windy down in Wollongong [training] so it wasn't too bad."Last night's 32-8 victory over the Roosters provided Boyd with a second NRL premiership ring. He won a title with the Broncos in 2006 as an 18-year-old in his debut season, an achievement he took for granted.The Queensland and Australian representative has every intention of soaking up the excitement of his second crown."First one I was pretty young," he said. "I didn't really cherish it like I should have."To get one now, a few years later, it was a bit harder but the club's been great and I'm really excited."Boyd reportedly suffered home sickness in his first season with the Dragons last year. He has since settled into life in Wollongong and has found a home in the red and white."The boys really toughed it out all year," he said. "The Dragons club and fans have been great to me and I owe them a lot."Wayne Bennett, who also coached him as a teenager at the Broncos before making the move to St George Illawarra, was proud of his grand final efforts last night.He said Boyd had been one of the Dragons' most consistent players throughout the season and again delivered on the big stage."He's been one of our best performers all year and tonight was what I expect from him and what he expects from himself," he said. "But teams win grand finals, individuals don't. And a team won here tonight."Unlike most players who had family on the sidelines, Boyd's biggest supporter was unable to be at ANZ Stadium. But in the midst of the lap of honour, celebrations with his grandmother was still on his mind."I'll have to give her a ring as soon as I get in the [sheds]," he said."I can't wait to talk to her."Boyd, who is renowned for keeping his emotions in check, finally let his guard down when he walked on stage to collect the Churchill medal.He thanked the fans, the Roosters and his team-mates, but his final words were "let's go party".The Dragons No 1 is expected to be picked in the Kangaroos team which is announced today at 11.30am.Billy Slater is a certainty to retain his fullback guernsey, while Jarryd Hayne is believed to have secured one wing position.That leaves Dragons team-mates Brett Morris and Boyd to fight it out for the other winger's jumper.