NRL: Broncos go back-to-back

Anthony Milford played a starring role in the Broncos side's 38-16 defeat of the Eels on Friday night. Photo / Getty Images
Anthony Milford played a starring role in the Broncos side's 38-16 defeat of the Eels on Friday night. Photo / Getty Images

Brisbane playmaker Anthony Milford has led the Broncos to a much-needed 38-16 NRL win over Parramatta.

The Broncos five-eighth, who has been struggling to match his dynamic early season form in recent weeks, split the Eels' line either side of halftime in a decisive spell at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Milford, who hadn't made a line break since the round 13 loss to the Warriors, broke a 10-10 deadlock with the last play of the first half in a welcome return to form for the majority of the 30,189 crowd.

The 22-year-old broke the line 30m out from Brisbane's tryline, sprinted past another two Eels defenders and then found winger Corey Oates with a grubber to ensure the hosts' had a 14-10 lead at the break.

Then five minutes into the second half it was Milford scoring his first try since round 15.

The pivot again danced past a static Eels defence to dive over under the posts.

Milford capped his night by again bamboozling his way through several Eels' tacklers in the last play of the game to send Tevita Pangai Junior crashing over.

It's a display that couldn't come at a better time for the Broncos, who have slipped from first on the ladder to sixth during a run of just five wins from their past 13 matches.

It's also Brisbane's first back-to-back victories since a win over South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium on April 22.

Friday's win continues a dismal run in Queensland for the Eels, who have now lost on their past six visits north of the Tweed River.

Oates, another Bronco who has been struggling for form post State-of-Origin, overcame an error which led to the Eels' second try to score a hat-trick.

Halfback Ben Hunt joined the party with a late try of his own while debutant Jonus Pearson, a late inclusion for Lachlan Maranta (groin), scored a double.

The victory ensures Brisbane head into next Thursday's clash with Canterbury full of confidence while the Eels face a tough road trip to tackle in-form Canberra.

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said he had felt a return to form wasn't far away from his charges.

"It's been coming," Bennett said, adding the try on halftime was a huge boost.

"Anthony's moment there just lifted everybody.

"Got in at halftime pretty excited and ready to go again."

Eels coach Brad Arthur labelled his team's second-half effort as below the levels they'd set during a crisis-plagued season.

Having battled to keep the club competitive in a year dominated by off-field woes, Arthur demanded his players not let their season slip away.

"We've done a lot of good stuff this year. We don't want to undo it with three performances where we drop our standards or become another team," he said.

"Regardless of what's ahead of us, or not ahead of us in terms of being able to play semi-final football, it doesn't matter - we want to do everything we can to try and win every game.

"It's a long pre-season and we don't want to have too many regrets."


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