There are no more excuses for Anthony Milford. Image: AAP Image/Rohan Thomson
There are no more excuses for Anthony Milford. Image: AAP Image/Rohan Thomson

Milford: ‘We have no excuses’

Anthony Milford looks set to operate behind a full-strength pack for the first time this year when the Broncos take on the hard heads of Cronulla on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.

The Broncos have not put Payne Haas, Tevita Pangai Jnr and Matt Lodge on the field in the same game in the first six rounds, but believe they have a good chance of doing so judging by Lodge's completion of a full training session.

Lodge would be doing well to play after missing one match with a severe blow to his throat suffered 15 days ago, with medicos to make a decision on Friday if he plays in the Suncorp Stadium showdown.

Criticism of the game management by Milford and Kodi Nikorima in Brisbane's 1-5 start to the year is mitigated by the suspensions of Pangai, who returns from a two-game ban for an looming physical contest with Shark Andrew Fifita, and previously Haas (four matches) and Lodge (two).

"They (Pangai and Lodge) bring a lot of energy and size and a lot of go-forward,'' Milford said.

"It (criticism) is part and parcel of being a Bronco. Kodi and I accept full responsibility. We are working as hard as we can so when it comes to game day we have no excuses.

"It comes down to us working a little harder and getting us around the park - the forwards are doing an awesome job, laying a platform. The halves need to capitalise on everything they do.

"Matt is a strong boy and if he comes back he'll do a real good job for us.''

Milford made four runs in a 26-22 loss to Canberra last Sunday, compared to a season average of 5.3 runs per game, both well down on a 2018 average of 10.8.

"The structure Seibs (coach Anthony Seibold) has, there is a lot of hands onto the halves and making sure we are taking it to the line - we need to put it into action,'' Milford said.

Teenage halfback Tom Dearden is waiting in the wing for a first grade chance if Seibold finally sees a need to shake up his ball-handling positions.

"He's an exciting talent. If he gets a shot, he'll play to the best of his ability,'' Milford said.

"I just keep my head down and play the best I can. If the coach chooses that way, what's best for the team is what I'll do.

"I'm loving footy and loving life. We've just got to keep going and I'm sure the tide will turn.''

The chief Broncos playmaker said he needed to improve his defence against the Sharks, with two Raiders tries in Brisbane's 26-22 loss in Canberra last Sunday coming when Milford had been unable to shut down bigger ball runners.

"I'm doing extras with defensive coaches. I know when I'm tackling well and it flows off (onto) my attack,'' Milford said.

The return of both Pangai and Lodge would mean Haas will not be required this week to play 80 minutes as the 19-year-old did against the Raiders.

"It's good signs Matt is training so well, so fingers crossed he is in the side,'' Matt Gillett said.

"A lot of Cronulla's plays comes from their big boys going forward and Andrew Fifita has been their best every week, with the way he carries the ball and offloads.''