Bird’s form a bitter pill for Broncos
JACK Bird needs to find his spark and he needs to find it soon.
Brisbane's million dollar signing is struggling to rediscover his best form, with Saturday night's loss to Manly another bitter pill for Bird to swallow.
Coach Wayne Bennett's tactical move to shift Bird into right centre didn't work, after the NSW utility played four games in the halves.
He made just six runs for 37m, failed to provide an impact and made a mistake that led to the Sea Eagles' first try of the game.
Early in the second half he struggled to support runaway forward Jaydn Su'A and, like some of his teammates, looked tired and fatigued.
Midway through the second stanza, he was moved to lock, with Tom Opacic brought off the bench into left centre and James Roberts shifted to the right.
Bird has his reasons for his mixed start to the season.
After returning from off-season shoulder surgery, he was always a bit behind the rest of the competition.
Since then, he has played through pain with a sternum injury and has also struggled to find his confidence with uncertainty over his place in the team.
There have also been rumblings Bird is looking to return to Sydney, although this has been denied by Bennett.
Brisbane signed Bird to add spark to their backline.
Alongside James Roberts, he was supposed to bring energy and excitement.
He has shown glimpses of this, but is yet to find consistency.
However, he is not alone.
As Manly started to sprint away with the surprise victory, there was no one standing up for the Broncos to create the comeback.
Anthony Milford's 53rd minute try was the closest thing, but there was no one else who tried to capitalise on that, no one who was able to create something from nothing.
Brisbane have been blessed with those types of players for years - the ones who can produce special moments when it's needed most.
Players like Alfie Langer, Darren Lockyer and Justin Hodges.
But that's what they are lacking at the moment despite the potential in their roster.
Bird could certainly be that guy.
He just needs to find his mojo again.