Milford promises to 'turn it on' against Manly
Still stinging from last year's grand final defeat, Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford has vowed to use the atmosphere created by a full house at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night to deliver yet another scintillating performance for his team.
In the second game of the double-header that also features the Storm playing the Cowboys, the Broncos meet a Manly team sitting just outside the top eight but with six wins from their past nine visits to Suncorp Stadium and an overall record of 18 wins from 28 appearances.
Dodging questions about being unavailable for Samoa last weekend as well as he does defenders – "I'll just leave that up to Wayne" – Milford was eager to turn his attention to a sold out stadium on Saturday night and another step on Brisbane's way to grand final redemption.
Considered by many as the best player on the park in the decider last October, Milford said the one-point defeat in extra time is a major motivator for he and his teammates this season and hopes to produce something special against the Sea Eagles.
"When you really want to turn it on it's at Suncorp at a packed stadium," Milford said.
"Everyone wants to turn up and play their best against whoever we are playing at Suncorp Stadium so we're going to go out there and do our best on Saturday.
"That bye was good timing for us. It just so happened that we lost against the Sharkies the week before as well so that week gave us a week to remind ourselves and bring us back down."
At the start of the season Milford vowed to enjoy his football this season and it has translated into a highlights reel through nine rounds that many players would be happy to claim for a career's work.
He has eight try assists, eight tries of his own, nine line-break assists and an NRL-high four field goals and admitted that behind the cheeky grin is a deep-seated fear of failure and of letting his teammates down.
"Probably just the way we missed out last year is what's driving me," said the 21-year-old.
"Just the fear of failure and the boys are working too hard for us to let them down, that's what keeps me driven.
"It took me a while [to get over the grand final], just with the circumstances around the way we lost and things like that.
"Obviously [that burden] is pretty heavy. The boys work really hard, especially our 'fronties'. They work really hard for us to just pull up short so that's what drives me and I think it drives a lot of the boys."
Broncos prop Sam Thaiday said with the Origin period now just three weeks away getting a win against Manly on home soil – albeit from the opposition's sheds – is crucial to their top four aspirations at the end of the season.
"We've got a tough three-week block of some games that can set us up and almost lock us into a top eight and maybe keep us up in that top four towards the end of the year," Thaiday said.
"It's going to be quite awkward. We're actually in the away under-20s sheds this week but we still get to play at home so our match-day routine shouldn't change too much.
"We love playing at Suncorp Stadium and we've probably got a few wrongs that need to be righted after that game we played against the Sharks."