Brisbane coach Kevin Walters says his club is still trying to work out the best approach to its halves conundrum after yet another disappointing performance in which halfback Tom Dearden was interchanged for Brodie Croft late in the game.
An upbeat Walters described the 35-6 loss to South Sydney on Thursday night as showing enough positive signs to convince him the team was on the right path and described it as Anthony Milford's best game of the year.
But he also lamented poor last-tackle options as a key reason for letting Souths pull away late in the first half and through the second, and admitted he was still unsure how to approach the three-into-two halves conundrum.
"That's what we're trying to get our head around, what's best for the long-term future, not only of Tommy but also the Broncos," Walters said.
"He was solid again. He's only a young fella, he's still learning the ropes of the game. It's not a good environment to learn when you're up against South Sydney.
"We've got a lot of faith in Tom and what he can bring to a footy side. Just at the moment with the situation that the team's in, it's making it a bit harder for him to develop his skills and be the player he can be. It's very delicate."
Walters believes Broncos are still on the right path
Having said through the week he had not yet seen enough from Milford to warrant extending the five-eighth's deal, he had praise for the 26-year-old's efforts against Souths.
"I thought he did [show something]; he had probably his best game of the year tonight I thought," Walters said.
"Defensively he was much better, very aggressive with a lot of his tackling. I like what I saw tonight from Milf.
"I keep saying he's got a lot of positives to come into his game yet, he's like everyone else, we're not quite on the money at the moment but when we do I'm sure he will be a big part of our revival."
Despite the 35-6 loss only being five points better than the 40-6 result a week earlier in Melbourne, Walters said the team had improved.
"I saw something different; there were some good, positive signs at different stages throughout the game," he said.
"Souths are a good side, we need to respect that. Obviously the result's not great but there's not much we can do about it now.
"Some of those kick finishes in that first half weren't great which relieved the pressure on Souths."
Isaako breaks through for the Broncos
Pressed on the last-play kicks, Walters added: "It's the team and the halves making sure they're in the right field position on the field to kick and the kick selection as well is a big one.
"It's a team responsibility but primarily our six and seven are the ones that have got to get the ball to where it should be.
"So many parts of our game to work on, it's just a matter of where you start."
Of the decision to take Dearden off for the final 10 minutes to give Croft some time, Walters said it was about giving Croft some time on field.
"Tom had got 70 minutes so that was enough for him I thought, his night was over," he said.