Anthony Milford (centre) in action during a Brisbane Broncos training session on Monday before being struck down by the virus. Picture: AAP
Anthony Milford (centre) in action during a Brisbane Broncos training session on Monday before being struck down by the virus. Picture: AAP

Brisbane sweat on Milford beating virus

BRONCOS skipper Darius Boyd is confident star five-eighth Anthony Milford will play in Saturday night's blockbuster against the Sydney Roosters despite being floored by a virus.

Brisbane's preparations for the finals-style clash at Allianz Stadium have suffered a setback with Milford failing to train today at Red Hill as Broncos medicos took a cautious approach with the playmaker.

But Boyd is adamant Brisbane's $1 million man will be on deck to face a Roosters side that can move a step closer to the minor premiership with victory in the round 24 clash in Sydney.

"He (Milford) is just sick ... he will be alright for the weekend," Boyd said.

Of Milford and Kodi Nikorima's impending showdown with Roosters halves Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary, Boyd added: "I don't know if it's a test, I just think our halves have been getting better all year.

"There has been a lot of scrutiny which I think is unwarranted for both of them.

"At the end of the day, it's a team sport and the forwards need to go forward and we need to defend well for the halves to get on the back of that.

"We have been doing it in patches this year, we did it last week (in a 38-18 defeat of Souths) and Milford and Kodi were two of our better players as a result.

"It is a big test against the Roosters in general, but we just need our halves to focus on what they can bring to the team."

The Broncos enter the clash clinging to seventh spot on percentages, but Boyd believes Brisbane are capable of breaking their 12-year title drought from the bottom half of the top eight.

"It's an open race to be honest," he said. "The Roosters have been strong this year, they are on top of the ladder, but no-one is really putting their hand up.

Wayne Bennett directs his players during today’s training session. Picture: Getty
Wayne Bennett directs his players during today’s training session. Picture: Getty

"From first to eighth it's a really tight competition and whoever finishes in good spots and gets home finals in the next few weeks ... it's there to be taken and that's something we have spoken about.

"We know we are a big chance.

"I definitely think it (winning from the bottom four) is possible.

Kodi Nikorima could be without a halves partner if Milford doesn’t recover before Saturday. Picture: Getty
Kodi Nikorima could be without a halves partner if Milford doesn’t recover before Saturday. Picture: Getty

"You look at the Cowboys last year, they didn't win it but they went a long way to the grand final. They turned the finals on its head and this time of year with how close it is, no-one is leading the pack and leading the way.

"Whoever gets most momentum in the finals will count for a lot.

"The finals is a new ball game. It's a lot of pressure and the big-game players come out to play and love that time of year."



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