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IT'S been a searching season for Anthony Milford while he's learning game management as an NRL playmaker for the Broncos.

But statistics indicate Milford's past month as an attacking influence has been his best.

Milford was credited by Fox Sports Stats with three try assists in the past four rounds, which produced three Broncos wins, and four line break assists.

Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes leads the NRL in that period with five try assists and is equal second with five line-break assists, behind only Johnathan Thurston's seven (which goes counter to the theory you hear around that the Cowboy is a faded force).

Milford's season tallies after 20 rounds are nine try assists and 11 line break assists.

Kodi Nikorima, who continues to try gamely to put something on, has 2018 stats of six try assists and five line-break assists.

NRL.com points out that over the past six rounds, Milford and Nikorima have the best stats of any NRL halves pairing in the categories of average run metres (98m) and combined tries/try assists (13).

 

Anthony Milford at Brisbane Broncos training this week. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Anthony Milford at Brisbane Broncos training this week. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

 

They are second in the line breaks/line-break assists categories with 11.

The Broncos, who play Canterbury at ANZ Stadium tonight, have picked a good time to play the Bulldogs with the one-game suspension of David Klemmer, who averages 169 run metres and 21 tackles this year.

Brisbane have won seven of their past 10 contests against Canterbury, including the past two. Canterbury have been held to 12 points or fewer in seven of these 10 matches.

The Broncos will likely go more to the left side manned by Darius Boyd and Corey Oates as Canterbury's right-side defence ranks 15th with 34 tries conceded. The Bulldogs rank third for tries let in down their middle third, with 12 tries conceded, inferior only to Melbourne (seven tries) and South Sydney (10).

 

Milford has made three try assists in the past four rounds. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Milford has made three try assists in the past four rounds. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

 

The two sides met in Round 9, when two minutes from full-time Boyd was ruled to have been obstructed from scoring by Moses Mbye off a bomb. Jamayne Isaako kicked a penalty goal as time expired to give the Broncos a 22-20 home win.

Fox Sports Lab predicts the Broncos are a 16 per cent chance of finishing in the top four.

SEIBOLD'S WARNING

SOUTH Sydney coach Anthony Seibold publicly warned his side that it risked a "cricket score" being put on it by the Storm tomorrow night after watching their 26-20 victory over the last-placed Eels last round.

Seibold would have had in mind Melbourne's 64-6 thrashing by the Storm at AAMI Park in their most recent meeting, in Round 25 last year.

While the Rabbitohs are a different side in 2018, 10 of their starting side tomorrow night, including five starting forwards, got to stand around in the in-goal a lot last year.

Melbourne have won the past five, and 11 of their past 12 matches against Souths, losing in the 2013 week-one finals match during that time.

Three of the past four matches have been decided by eight points or fewer.

This is the second time this season that first has played second. The second-placed Panthers accounted for the Dragons 28-2 in Round 12.

The Storm are leading the competition despite being the 15th-best team at playing out their sets, with a 75 per cent average.

Souths do it 77.1 per cent of the time.

Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr has scored four tries in his past two matches against the Rabbitohs, including a hat-trick in his most recent game against them.



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