Not everyone at Brisbane was happy with Anthony Milford after he inspired their 53-0 NRL rout of Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium.
Even Knights coach Nathan Brown could not help but marvel at Milford’s three-try masterclass on Saturday night.
However, Queensland hopeful Corey Oates admits he had a good-natured crack at Milford after he ignored support and completed his hat-trick late in the 10-try romp.
Towering winger Oates was a Milford pass away from a club record equalling fourth try, joining the likes of Steve Renouf, Karmichael Hunt, Denan Kemp, Justin Hodges, Israel Folau and Wendell Sailor.
“I tried to make him feel bad,” Oates laughed.
“You try not to think about it but when it comes closer it’s like ‘give me the ball’.
“But there’s no hard feelings.
“He deserved three.”
Milford shone as Brisbane showed no mercy to an injury hit Knights.
He even twisted the knife by kicking a cheeky field goal on full-time.
Yet the mention of Milford’s name brought a smile to Brown’s face post-match.
“He’s a brilliant little player, isn’t he,” he said.
“The combination (with halfback Ben Hunt) is terrific.
“If they play together eight or so years you’d think they would deliver a couple of premierships for the Broncos.
“It’s unfortunate when they are against you but it still great to watch.”
Hard marking Brisbane master coach Wayne Bennett couldn’t fault Milford.
“He was with a lot of good players but when we got on top he just enjoyed his footy,” he said.
“He was having fun out there. It wasn’t hard for him.”
Oates could be seen having a dig at Milford post-match after opting not to throw a final pass that would have sealed No.4 for the winger.
Broncos veteran forward Sam Thaiday believed it was a matter of time before Oates shared the club record.
“Corey has got plenty of time to break records,” he said.
“I am sure that chance will come again in his career.”
Oates may still achieve something Milford doesn’t this year – Origin selection.
Milford is banned from being picked for Queensland this year after breaking curfew at the Emerging Maroons squad.
Oates took another confident step toward a Maroons debut this year with his first career hat-trick.
“It’s a dream to play Origin but I am just enjoying my footy at the moment.”