Is Benji Marshall the man to help Anthony Milford (pictured) return to his best?

Milford 100th game just tip of iceberg

Brisbane Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford will play his 100th NRL game on Thursday night when he runs out onto ANZ Stadium to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. 

Now in his fifth year in the NRL, Milford has gone from an exciting young fullback to a flashy five-eighth that is regarded as one of the best in the competition. 

Milford made his debut as an 18-year-old for the Canberra Raiders in 2013 and it was soon clear that the Australian Schoolboy possessed more talent than most people could dream of. 

He spent the majority of his time at the Raiders playing at fullback, with his excellent performances earning him selection in the Australian Kangaroos train-on squad in 2014 and selection in the Prime Minister's XIII in that same year. 

In 2015 he arrived at the Broncos and switched to five-eighth, guiding his side to the NRL grand final - falling just short of the ultimate glory with a one-point loss to the North Queensland Cowboys. 

Had he been on the winning team, there is no question he would have also claimed a Clive Churchill Medal. 

2016 was another outstanding year for Milford, again making the Kangaroos' train-on squad and also winning the Peter Frilingos Headline Moment of the Year award at the Dally M Awards. 

He won that award for his unbelievable 40 metre field goal in golden point extra-time against the Cowboys in Round 4 – slotting the shot under immense pressure to win the game for the Broncos. 

 


But 2017 hasn't been Milford's year so far; with the 22-year-old having a slow start to the season compared the lofty standards he has set in the past. 

His form will ultimately improve as 2017 progresses, but his coach Wayne Bennett said even Milford's best this year won't compare to the player he will be in a few years time. 

"Anthony Milford is bringing up 100 games in the NRL this week. It's a big effort and one that he can cherish," Bennett said. 

"It's a wonderful achievement and really good for him. 

"He's still only a young player that's come into the game early due to the amount of talent he possesses. 

"He needs to maximise that talent, but he's still a couple of years away from being at his best. 

"He's learning all the time. He's pretty unique. Not many people have the amount of talent he's got."

There is no doubting that Milford has the talent, but his confidence is suffering after an error-riddled first four games. 

Milford will be hoping to begin to turn his form around against the Bulldogs, with Bennett saying that his team is in a good position to make it two wins in a row after a one-point win against the Canberra Raiders in Round 4. 

"The team has had a better week," he said.  

"They've been feeling better about themselves all week after beating Canberra. 

"You can't get confidence by losing. You only get it by winning. We needed that win against the Raiders."