Anthony Milford has vowed to reboot his running game against the North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night and has brushed off criticism of his round one performance as water off a duck’s back.
Milford spoke to reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon along with benched forward Sam Thaiday, where both were quizzed on the Brisbane Broncos' poor performance in the 34-12 loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons in the season opener.
Thaiday said he was determined to provide some spark off the bench against the Cowboys while Milford was emphatic about where he needed to improve.
"Obviously, my running game," Milford said.
"Being more of a talker [now] takes that away from myself and I think that is what I need to go back to and make sure I get an early carry in the game, and stay in the game.”
The Broncos halves have copped plenty of heat from commentators for their round one performance who have lamented the lack of direction they provided.
When asked whether criticism fired him up personally, Milford said "not at all".
"It gets pushed aside," he replied.
"Inside, I know what I need to work on and how I can be better in a game. I just need to put that into action."
Match: Broncos v Cowboys
Round 2 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Milford said the criticism of his own performance was to be expected and "comes as part and parcel of playing the position I play".
"There are going to be heavy critics coming at Kodi [Nikorima] whether we lose or win but we’ve got to ride those highs and lows and whatever comes our way we accept it and move on," Milford said.
"Having a new partner in the halves, it will take a bit of time for both of us to click. We have got no excuses, but…we know where we went wrong and how we are going to fix it, and that is going to happen on Friday night.
"Everyone is just forgetting it is round one. There is nothing wrong here at the Broncos."
Thaiday said the Broncos halves could only shine if the forwards fired.
"When your forwards are making the mistakes that we did and dropping the ball, we didn’t give them any opportunity to show any of their talent," he said.
"I’ll put my hand up personally. We had a couple of tough conversations through the week about what we need to do as a forward pack.
"Sometimes you need a setback like that round one game that is hopefully going to put a fire in the belly going forward."
Thaiday said he was looking forward to giving up the dummy half role and 'pushing back into the forwards and doing something I actually know.'
"That may be my position going forward, just trying to provide a bit of spark off the bench and maybe [playing] limited minutes as well," he said.
"I am looking forward to another challenge and I’m going to push myself."
Boom forward Tevita Pangai Jnr, the player's player against the Dragons, is set to start against the Cowboys and Thaiday said that was a just reward.
"He did his job for us the other night. He ran hard and he did his job for us in defence as well," Thaiday said.
"I am more than happy to take a step back and promote these young guys as much as I can because I’d like to get out there and run off the back of them and get some quick play the balls off those guys.
"These young guys are going to be relied upon a little bit this year going forward and Tevita is really standing up," Thaiday said.
"He’s just got to make sure he stays consistent. We need to make sure he does all the hard stuff first and once he’s nailed that he can bring out all the silky skills he does have."
Thaiday and Milford spoke to reporters as the Broncos announced that Australia's largest non-bank lender Firstmac had extended its sponsorship agreement with the Brisbane Broncos for five years until 2022.