‘Take the six off’: Mal’s plan to get Milford firing

Anthony Milford has been under the pump after the Broncos’ round one loss.
Anthony Milford has been under the pump after the Broncos’ round one loss.

KANGAROOS coach Mal Meninga believes a simple change in jerseys will bring out the best in Brisbane star Anthony Milford.

The Broncos five-eighth and his halves partner in Kodi Nikorima have been heavily criticised following their team's 34-12 loss to St George Illawarra, with the duo copping a spray from coach Wayne Bennett during training on Monday.

Milford, who has just started his new four-year $4 million deal with the club, has been copping a lot of heat for the lack of attacking direction the Broncos displayed in their round one defeat, with the livewire failing to register any try assists, linebreaks, linebreak assists or tackle busts.

Anthony Milford in action for the Broncos.
Anthony Milford in action for the Broncos.

Meninga believes if the 23-year-old swapped jerseys with Nikorima it would also bring a change in mindset.

"He's certainly got the talent," Meninga said of Milford.

"He just needs to be more assertive in the way he plays the game. He needs to touch the ball more, he needs to be on ball.

"He needs maybe a change of attitude around the number on his back.

"I'm suggesting maybe take the six off his back, put seven on it. Seven is obviously around game management.

"Maybe if you gave him the seven jersey, he might be a better player for the Broncos, more assertive and on the ball all the time."


Meanwhile, Justin Hodges, who played most of his career under Bennett at the Broncos, gave some insight into the spray from the seven-time premiership winning coach.

Anthony Milford of the Broncos in action.
Anthony Milford of the Broncos in action.

The team's task won't get any easier this week when they come up against North Queensland on Friday.

"It's probably more to get them going," Hodges said.

"Milford had Ben Hunt there last year who took the team around and 'Milf' could just rely on his natural ability to turn up and do what he wanted to do.

"I think Wayne giving them a spray ... they probably needed it.

"As a player sometimes you can get complacent, you can fall back into some bad habits.

"The spray he's given them, it's not to put them on show, it's not to embarrass the players.

"It's giving them a bit of a kick up the butt to make sure they've got their mind on the job this week because they're coming up against the best."

Topics:  anthony milford brisbane broncos kangaroos mal meninga nrl 2018 rugby league wayne bennett

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