Anthony Milford has shrugged off his shoulder woes to storm back into form for Brisbane. (AAP: Dan Peled)
Wayne Bennett has credited Anthony Milford’s stellar form with the joy of playing again after his season was “on death row” not so long ago.
Brisbane held onto second spot after five-eighth Milford and two-try hero Alex Glenn sparked their 24-12 NRL win over a gutsy St George Illawarra on Friday night.
Milford made up for a quiet night from half-back Kodi Nikorima by stepping his way over for a 20th-minute try then setting up another two as the Dragons suffered their 10th straight loss at Lang Park.
Broncos coach Bennett said Milford was just happy to be on the field after suffering what was first thought to be a season-ending shoulder injury against South Sydney in round 14.
Milford missed just four weeks and hasn’t looked back.
“He’s just enjoying his footy,” Bennett said.
“He was on death row with his shoulder, then he realised he could finish the season.
“I think he is just appreciating being able to play every week.”
Bennett paid tribute to Milford’s resilience after overcoming the shoulder drama.
“He’s a tough little player,” he said.
“You have to be tough to play this game. Some are just tougher than others.”
Wayne Bennett says Alex Glenn (L) is now taking ownership of games for Brisbane. (AAP: Dan Peled)
The ninth-placed Dragons must now win their final two games and hope other results go their way after remaining winless at Lang Park since 2009.
“We were a bit flat tonight but I thought our defence was our feature,” Bennett said.
“If you want to be a quality football team you have to be able to defend.
“And I thought Anthony [Milford] was very good tonight but [half-back] Kodi Nikorima was off the pace. But that is okay, he’s had plenty of good games.”
The Broncos led 14-6 at half-time after piling on three tries.
Glenn all but sealed the result when he completed his double in the 50th minute.
“He’s taking some ownership for the first time in his footy career,” Bennett said of Glenn.
“All of a sudden he realised he had a lot more to offer the team than he thought he had.”
Brisbane will sweat on Tevita Pangai Jr (hamstring) but has cleared fellow forward Jai Arrow (elbow).