There’s no place like home for the Broncos.
Even when they are playing “away” to Manly.
The Sea Eagles rolled the dice in their gamble to take their NRL home clash to a sold-out Suncorp Stadium and came up short, thrashed 30-6 by Brisbane on Saturday night in front of 52,347 fans.
The Sea Eagles agreed to a lucrative deal offered by the Queensland government, surrendering home-ground advantage to a Broncos outfit undefeated this season at Suncorp.
It is the first game of a three-year deal for Manly.
But it was Brisbane who hit the jackpot, running in five tries to one to notch their sixth win in seven games and go top of the ladder.
The match was billed as a last-ditch Queensland State of Origin audition for the likes of Manly’s half Daly Cherry-Evans and prop Nate Myles.
But the standout was a man who won’t be considered for Queensland selection this year – Brisbane pivot Anthony Milford.
The Broncos’ five-eighth toyed with the injury-hit Sea Eagles – without Brett Stewart and Steve Matai – and scored two tries, helping the “visitors” nab a 20-0 lead by the 50th minute.
Milford crossed for his first in the 14th minute with a classic show and go as Brisbane grabbed a 12-0 halftime lead.
He produced a sublime step in the 50th minute to seal his double.
Milford won’t be considered by Queensland selectors this year after receiving a 12-month Origin ban for breaking curfew in January at the Emerging Maroons camp.
The Broncos defied the loss of hooker Andrew McCullough (hamstring) and forwards Adam Blair (suspension) and Alex Glenn (injury) to claim their sixth win in as many games this year at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane bounced back from last round’s 30-28 away loss to Cronulla.
Manly’s Martin Taupau was placed on report for a lifting tackle on Matt Gillett in the 68th minute.