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Milford's form revival impresses Origin coach

Maroons coach Kevin Walters has urged Anthony Milford to keep backing his instincts after declaring his early season form is "just what we want to see from him".

Walters was in commentary for Fox Sports on Friday night when Milford scored a blistering 40m try where he zig-zagged, and even ran backwards for a while, to beat seven Rabbitohs defenders to score an instinctual try.

Walters worked closely with Milford as a Broncos assistant coach in 2015 and gave him his Maroons debut in 2017.

The 25-year-old's impressive form to start the season is just what Walters wants to see more of ahead of the State of Origin series opener.

"It is up to Anthony to continue to consistently show that talent," Walters told

"Opposition defences don't appreciate it when Anthony runs, they'd rather see him pass.

Milford at his attacking best

"It is good to see that he is running the ball because that is his greatest strength.

"That try was a good example of what can happen when he does pin the ears back and take them on.

"He is an instinctive player. Other players could run backwards and lose ground but his instinct told him where to run and where to go … and his instinct got it right."

After the Broncos' 22-18 win Milford spoke to ABC Radio's Zane Bojack about his try.

"It would probably be up there with one of my favourites and brought back 2015 memories," Milford said.

That season, where Milford was close to unstoppable, was his best for Brisbane and Walters has urged him to keep reliving the great memories on the park.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Rabbitohs

"As I said to all of the Queensland players earlier in the season, they just need to play well and everything else will look after itself, and that is always the case with Origin," Walters said.

"You pick the best 17 players and find a position for them.

"Anthony [is putting his hand up] and that is what we want to see from him. We didn't see it last year in the early rounds but we are this year.

"I am sure he is as determined as anyone to have a great season for the Broncos."

This year Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has given Milford the simple instruction to run, have fun and play naturally with instinct rather than worry about game management.

"I have just taken all the pressure off Milf to play footy. That sounds simple, doesn't it, but I thought he was an uncomfortable person in the leadership group last year from what I saw," Seibold said.

"I probably put a fair bit of pressure on him early, trying to get him to organise the team. Then I moved him to fullback which probably in some ways was good for him to give him freedom.

Broncos playmaker Anthony Milford.
Broncos playmaker Anthony Milford. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"Getting Crofty [Brodie Croft] and having Tom Dearden develop, I have a couple of organisers, so for Milf it is just about enjoying footy and taking the line on.

"He told me he'd had his first full pre-season since 2014 or 2015.

"When you have a good preparation it transfers to game day and it was good to see him play with a smile on his face."

Milford also stepped up against Souths with his kicking after Brodie Croft went off in the 14th minute with an AC joint injury. It was a pinpoint Milford bomb that led to a crucial Kotoni Staggs try in the second half. His own 40 metre effort was the icing on the cake for the coach.

"It was a great try. We probably see that a bit at training," Seibold said.

"There was a bit of responsibility on him when Crofty went off because we did have Milly getting us around the park with three other halfback partners during the game.

"It wasn't easy for him but when Milly is happy he plays decent footy."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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