The Brisbane Broncos are expecting Anthony Milford will be “fired up” to face his former club on his return to the NRL.
Following a turbulent seven years at Brisbane, Milford signed a one-year deal with the Rabbitohs for 2022, but when he was charged with three counts of assault in September, the NRL refused to register the contract.
Milford’s assault charges were dropped in April and following an investigation of its own, the NRL cleared the 27-year-old’s return to play with the Newcastle Knights from round 11.
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Jake Clifford and Adam Clune are struggling to recapture the form they showed in the opening fortnight of the season, so Milford looks a chance to come straight into the side on Thursday night.
The Broncos expect Milford will be raring to be unleashed on the club that let him go.
“If he does play it’ll be good to see him back in the NRL,” said former Broncos teammate Thomas Flegler.
“It’s his first game back in a while and he’s coming up against his former club, he’s definitely going to be fired up.”
In Magic Round, the Knights tasted victory for the first time in nearly two months but still have plenty of work to do on their attack.
Only the Bulldogs have scored less points than Newcastle across the first 10 rounds of the season, but with a playmaker with Milford’s calibre on the books, things could turn around from this week.
“We all know ‘Milf’. He plays eyes up footy and he can be very dangerous, so we’ll be very aware of him and where he’s playing,” said Flegler.
Brisbane is looking very dangerous in its own right – the Broncos appear to have put their worst two seasons on record behind them and now sit in seventh place on the ladder.
But the Broncos won’t take the Knights lightly as they aim to knock together their first five-game winning streak since 2017.
“We know that (the Knights) are coming off a win and they’re going to be very confident,” Flegler said.
“This won’t be an easy task this weekend, so we’re concentrating on what we need to do.”
Flegler put Brisbane’s winning ways down to an improved attitude in defence.
In the past four weeks, the Broncos have conceded 33 points. In the corresponding rounds last year, they bled 143.
“Defensively, we’ve gotten a lot better. We’ve come a long way,” Flegler said.
“I think at the moment what’s winning us games are those little effort areas, the little one percenters.
“We need to continue that going forward.”