Sea Eagles v Broncos: Five key points
Anthony Milford dazzles in the double-header, another frosty reception for Cherry-Evans, footy fans vote with their feet and Corey Parker's rare Fantasy shocker.
Milford's thrill-a-minute performance
It is one thing to set up tries for your teammates; it's another thing to score plenty yourself. If you happen to be able to do both then your name is Anthony Milford and you are the hottest player in the competition today.
It is incredible to watch someone so energetic also be so hypnotic as defenders are left clutching at thin air where they were convinced he once was. His ever-burgeoning combination with halves partner Ben Hunt extended Brisbane's lead to 12 after 13 minutes and he provided the pass – and the space – for Sam Thaiday to score a try he will be talking about for the rest of his career midway through the second half.
He scored two tries to take his tally for the season to 10, ran for 185m, had three line-breaks, four tackle busts and three offloads but that doesn't do him justice. Something happens every time he touches the ball and even the Manly fans in the crowd had to simply stand and applaud.
Cherry-Evans harshly treated
Not only was Daly Cherry-Evans greeted by a chorus of boos from overly vociferous Broncos fans but even the match officials were making life tough for him. With his side battling to keep pace with the Broncos after conceding two early tries Cherry-Evans fired a superb pass to winger Matthew Wright seven minutes from half-time only for the officials to rule it forward. Sometimes the skills of our best players are really too good for everyone.
Cherry-Evans was troubled by an ankle injury midway through the second half but battled on bravely as the Broncos hit top gear and will have to wait until at least Origin II to hear the cheers from a Queensland crowd.
Event football a winner for all concerned
The atmosphere around Suncorp Stadium in the hours leading up to Saturday night's historic double-header was comparable only to an Origin match or grand final and reaffirmed the opportunities to make regular rounds of the Telstra Premiership into events that all footy fans feel compelled to attend.
Jerseys from almost every team in the NRL were among the crowd of 52,347 who revelled in a double-dose of NRL action and must surely have given Sydney clubs cause to consider whether they could produce something similar at ANZ Stadium.
As someone who attended a double-header between St George Illawarra and Parramatta and Manly and Newcastle at the opening of the then Olympic Stadium that attracted 104,583, a festival of football is an experience to savour.
We may not have the capacity – or inclination – to go down the English Super League's line of a 'Magic Weekend' but we should certainly be exploring ways to create occasions such as we witnessed on Saturday night.
Downside to Taupau's aggression
Just as they are trying to keep pace with the premiership top eight the Sea Eagles are facing the prospect of being without Martin Taupau again after the Kiwi back-rower was placed on report for a lifting tackle on Broncos opposite Matt Gillett late in the second half.
Suspended for a week earlier this season for a high tackle on Cronulla five-eighth Jack Bird, Taupau and Gillett were involved in a minor scuffle and then minutes later Taupau upended Gillett well after he had passed the ball and will no doubt come under the notice of the match review committee in the next 24 hours.
Corey Parker's Fantasy bust
He's the Fantasy Superman who captains a large chunk of NRL Fantasy teams but Corey Parker threw the competition into chaos with an uncustomary low-scoring performance on Saturday night. Parker handed the goal-kicking duties to Jordan Kahu who obliged with five goals from six attempts and despite running for 129 metres and making 19 tackles he amassed only 26 points (provisional), less than half his season average.
After a 30-6 win it won't matter to Parker but there are thousands of Fantasy coaches wondering where it went wrong.