Milford can deliver title to Broncos: Walters
Club legend Kevin Walters insists Anthony Milford can deliver Brisbane a seventh premiership if the forwards maintain their rage through four do-or-die finals.
Speaking at Fox League's finals launch in Brisbane on Wednesday, he said finishing in the top four was still a massive advantage, as proven historically, but tipped the sixth-placed Broncos to make it to the season decider against Melbourne.
With only two competition points separating first from eighth at the end of the regular season, Walters said "this could be the year that someone from outside the top four makes it through to the grand final and wins".
"Brisbane are peaking at the right time," Walters said.
"We’ve seen in recent years that you just can’t win the big end-of-season games without everybody at their best, and the Broncos have been doing that on weekly basis for the last month. They’ve just got to do it for the next month."
While stating that experienced forwards Sam Thaiday, Alex Glenn and Josh McGuire would need to lead the way up front ,Walters was adamant Milford could ice the cake and deliver a title for Brisbane.
"I think he can. There’s no problem there," Walters said.
"He is a confident young fella now. I like what he is doing on the field. His defence has got a lot better as well so I see no reason why the Broncos can’t win something under Anthony."
Walters said Milford had been one of Brisbane’s best in the final half of the season with his kicking game improving rapidly. That was evident when he broke clear in the 48-16 win over Manly and put a deft left-footer through for Corey Oates to score.
"He has taken a lot of ownership of his kicking game and that has helped the rest of his game," Walters said.
"Anthony is one of those players that can do things on a footy field that not many players can and that is a real bonus for the Broncos in these bigger end of season games that come down sometimes to individual brilliance.
"In the key moments I think Anthony can deliver, and we saw that on the weekend with the Corey Oates try which was a work of brilliance and brilliant thinking from Anthony."
Walters said Milford’s recent form had improved since his breakout 2015 season and that the only way for his progression to go was up.
"We haven’t seen the best from him either. There is more consistency in Anthony’s game. He’s getting better every week," he said.
Broncos captain Darius Boyd said the 23-year-old was also now thriving with the extra responsibility of being in the leadership group.
"At such a young age, to be in the leadership group is certainly a big deal but I think he’s taken a lot more of the leadership since Ben Hunt left in particular," Boyd said.
"I obviously call a lot of the shots, but I've left it up to Milf a bit more to have that ownership so that it is his team. He’s grown into that role really well and we talk about things together more. I'm happy to ask his opinion whether it is to take a quick tap or what play we want to call. You want your best and most exiting players to call what they see and what suits their game to a tee."
Walters was part of the Broncos side that won four finals in a row in 1993 to take the NSWRL title and he saw similar traits in the current squad.
"You have to have a lot of confidence about what you are doing, a lot of trust and a lot of belief and I have seen evidence of that from the Broncos," he said.
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