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Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford.

Former Broncos captain Sam Thaiday says Anthony Milford’s relegation to Intrust Super Cup could reignite the playmaker’s career, similar to his own 2006 axing when Wayne Bennett dumped him from first grade after winning Origin for Queensland.

Thaiday recalled how Bennett’s tough love defined his own career after the second-rower returned from Origin overweight after a few too many buffet trips and with an attitude that didn’t sit well with the master coach.

Banished to the Toowoomba Clydesdales after playing for Queensland, Thaiday quickly adjusted his attitude and fought his way back into the NRL to help the Broncos win the 2006 premiership.

With coach Kevin Walters set to give Milford a few weeks in the second-tier competition, Thaiday believes time playing with Souths Logan will help the 26-year-old rediscover his own best form and see him return to the Broncos ready to prove he is not a spent force in the NRL.

“It may end up being a blessing in disguise for him. It would be a very humbling and grounding moment for him,” Thaiday told NRL.com

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for him to hit the reset button, go back and work on a few things in his own game.

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“He is still a young kid and the hardest thing for him is he has had to bear the burden of the Broncos for the last couple of years.

“That is a big burden to have on your shoulders, especially being such an iconic team as the Brisbane Broncos are.

“You definitely do feel for him but throughout my career I had a fair few humbling moments myself.

“I can still remember Wayne Bennett dropping me back to Queensland Cup after a State of Origin series once and it was probably the best thing that could’ve happened for me.

“It made me adjust my attitude and I came back and I didn’t look back after that.

“Hopefully Milf does show some form in the Intrust Super Cup and gets his opportunity to come back at the Broncos and prove to himself that he has still got it.”

Milford is not the only Bronco on thin ice in the Walters era, with lock Patrick Carrigan admitting the players were all now well aware there would be severe consequences if they failed to perform to the coach’s standards.

“I think it’s pretty clear if you want to be a Bronco you have got to win footy games,” Carrigan said.

“You’re naïve to think if you dish up the same standard for two years that you’re going to be offered another contract at the end of your time here.

“I do think we have the cattle there to be a competitive side, we are definitely 1000 times better than what we’ve been displaying.

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“I do think we have the people there to be successful and competitive and win some footy games and I think that is what Kevvie wants to see.”

Carrigan puts himself in that category of players who haven’t lived up to standard in 2021.

The 23-year-old has spoken with Walters about how he can take his game to the level he wants to achieve but knows his own handling issues and poor performances have contributed to the club’s 1-4 record to start the season and he needs to lift starting on Thursday against Penrith.

“I haven’t been that happy with my performances. I’ve probably just drifted away a little bit from the standard I was at last year,” he said.

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“I know where I want to be and how I want to progress as a footy player. I’ve had chats with Kevvie about what I want to achieve and how he thinks I can get to it and I think he is the best man to help me improve as well.

“Individually I’m not happy where I am at at the moment and Thursday night is a good opportunity for me to get back with Payne (Haas) and some of the other guys and put in a performance I’m happy with.

“I can’t put it down to anything. I’ve just had a couple of off games and things I’m not proud of by my standard. I’m not going to kick stones, sometimes I get guilty of trying too hard. I will just go out and do my job for the team and support the guys.”

 

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