Misfiring Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford.
Misfiring Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford. PAUL MILLER

Time to hit the go button, Milf

FOR a player reportedly seeking almost $1 million a season for his contract extension at the Broncos, the form of Anthony Milford is nowhere near good enough.

And tonight, at Suncorp Stadium in what is a crucial match for the Broncos, the undoubted brilliance of Milford is at the crossroads. This is his stop-go moment.

In fairness, some Milford individual magic won the Broncos their opening game against the Sharks. And he was also very good against the Cowboys in round two, running for 136 metres in the golden-point thriller.

But since then the Broncos five-eighth has been tardy, and the form of his team has followed suit. Milford is paid big bucks to help put games away, and he and his team are simply not doing that.

Statistics don't always tell the real story, and despite state-of-the-art devices being used these days, I'm not convinced they are anywhere near as accurate as they purport to be. But even if they are close to the mark, Milford's stats after five rounds are poor.

In five starts he has run a miserly 350 metres. And he ate up 136 of those from 17 runs against the Cowboys.

I know it's not comparing apples with apples, but Raiders fullback Jake Wighton ran for 236 metres last weekend.

In five games and 407 minutes of footy this season, Milford has run the ball 51 times for an average gain of 6.8 metres. And even more worrying - again according to NRL stats - he has broken the line just once.

But while Milford plays primarily an attacking role - which is clearly not happening for him in 2017 - the most telling negative statistic is his defence.

He has missed a whopping 20 tackles in the opening five games, including a pathetic attempt on Josh Jackson last week which led to the Bulldogs' winning try.

In light of recent criticism of Milford's ethics in the gym and on the training paddock, Wayne Bennett zealously jumped to his defence. The veteran coach even went as far as claiming journalist Paul Kent had fabricated the story.

But what is not fabricated is Milford's poor form. And what is not known is why he is struggling.

If it is because of a poor attitude to training, he should have been given the heads up by now. If it is because of his faltering contract negotiations, both parties had better fix that quick smart.

The bottom line for Broncos fans is that Milford, and not his halves partner Ben Hunt as some had speculated might happen, is letting down the team.

And there is no more opportune time than tonight to hit the 'go' button.

GOOD: Cooper Cronk and his heartfelt announcement that he will be moving to Sydney next season to be with his fiancée. Cronk is class act, on and off the field

BAD: Jordan Kahu's knowledge of the rules of the game

UGLY: The revelation that Immortal Graeme Langlands has Alzheimer's disease and is now confined to a nursing home.

News Corp Australia


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