Milford masterclass guides Broncos to win over fading Raiders
Brisbane had been waiting all season for Anthony Milford to take a game by the scruff of the neck and he did exactly that in a 40-minute masterclass to inspire a 26-22 win over Canberra at Suncorp Stadium.
The first half gave no indication of what was to come from the Brisbane five-eighth against his old club in what only can be described as a Jekyll and Hyde performance.
The Raiders led 16-nil at the break and Milford was well off the pace after a loose pass by the former Raider led to a third minute try to Elliott Whitehead.
His frustration was palpable as kicks and passes failed to find their mark.
In the second half the pocket rocket turned it on as only he can when he is on song.
The Broncos clicked into gear in the 47th minute courtesy of a Corey Oates special in the left corner where his hit and spin and brute strength resulted in a try despite the attention of three defenders after a floating overhead pass by Milford.
Match: Broncos v Raiders
Round 16 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
In the 53rd minute a crafty left-foot kick by Milford led to a try to a rampaging Alex Glenn.
Josh Hodgson went himself to give Canberra a 20-12 lead in the 60th minute but Milford and the Broncos were not done.
A short pass to Darius Boyd by Milford led to Jordan Kahu scoring wide out before the Broncos will-o-the-wisp went himself in the 72nd minute to dance his way through and score.
The victory keeps Brisbane in eighth position on 20 points with Canberra languishing on 14 points in ninth and requiring a minor miracle to make the finals from here after another narrow loss to add to their ledger.
The Raiders will be wondering how they let the game slip after dominating the first half in every area.
The Broncos lost Joe Ofahengaue to a virus before kick-off and elevated 18-year-old David Fifita to make his NRL debut. Fifita become the first player born in the 2000s to play in the Telstra Premiership.
Fifita came on in the 33rd minute and played the rest of the game with distinction.
The Broncos were well served again by Kiwi international Jamayne Issako whose goal kicking and running game was on song. Corey Oates and Alex Glenn were also standouts after tough back-rower Jaydn Su'A left the field with concussion late in the first half.
News and Notes: Crowd: 30,495, the largest attendance for a Broncos v Raiders game at Suncorp Stadium since 2010... Broncos 18-year-old David Fifita became the first player born in the 2000s to play NRL when he made he entered the fray off the bench in the 33rd minute... Brisbane forward Jaydn Su'A left the field in the 35th minute with concussion and did not return... Brisbane retained their eight-year unbeaten record over the Raiders at Suncorp Stadium... The Broncos play the Titans away in round 17 on Sunday while the Raiders play the Bulldogs at Belmore on Saturday.