Broncos halfback Brodie Croft will have a "point to prove" against former club Melbourne on Friday night after keeping his jersey for another week in Brisbane’s ongoing halves selection battle.
Coach Kevin Walters has opted to retain Croft and five-eighth Anthony Milford as the scrumbase pair.
The duo’s efforts to get the win last week over Canterbury were enough to keep young gun Tom Dearden as the bench utility.
The Broncos welcome back front row pair Payne Haas (integrity unit suspension) and Matt Lodge (hamstring) to bolster their pack but it’s Croft who has the most at stake against the club who showed him the door in 2019.
"I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve gone to another club but I feel like it’s a huge opportunity for him to prove his worth to Melbourne and why they shouldn’t have let him go," Broncos skipper Alex Glenn said.
"Crofty has been critiquing his game all offseason and I think the battle of our halves has been one of the most spoken about positions in our team and this is a great opportunity.
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"I always talk about when you come up against a quality team it’s a great opportunity to showcase the skill assets you have and what you can do in first grade and this is going to be no different for Brodie Croft."
Croft will naturally be hoping Brisbane do better than his first match against his old team last year when the Storm racked up a 46-8 scoreline in July at Suncorp Stadium.
Glenn said it was no coincidence the Broncos performed better last week after coach Kevin Walters switched where his halves defended, reuniting Milford on the left edge with the skipper just as they’d done for the past several seasons.
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Not only did the Broncos manage to hold Canterbury scoreless, Milford’s missed tackle count dropped to just two for the game as the pair worked together like old times.
"I’ve been defending with Milf for many, many years. It’s like Cheech and Chong pretty much. We go together very smoothly," Glenn said.
"When Milly came back in he just fell into place with our left edge. It’s very comfortable. I think the biggest thing for me and Milf is we have that trust in defence.
"He knows I’m always going to be there. I’m going to turn up for him, he is not going to be hesitant whether I’m going to get to the half or not."
The Broncos moved into a team camp environment in Sydney on Monday, escaping Brisbane’s COVID crisis but were forced into heavy restrictions ahead of a day trip to Melbourne on Friday.
Glenn was confident the team would handle the isolation period and said there would be no excuses against the Storm.
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He is most excited to see the return of young front-rower Haas, who plays his first game of the season after an offseason suspension from the integrity unit for an incident in Tweed Heads.
"Payno is ready to go, bro," Glenn said.
"He has been itching to get out on the field the last three weeks, he has done his time now and he is ready to go. He can’t wait. It’s going to be a good one.
"It’s huge for us, a huge asset having those two boys [Haas and Lodge] back.
"They bring a lot to the field and to get those boys back after a win last week with the confidence in the team it’s even better.
"We’re going to need those two boys going up against Melbourne Storm this week."
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