The sight of Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford in full flight reminds Broncos great Gorden Tallis of the NRL club’s glorious past.
And Hunt is convinced a bright future awaits, saying his hit halves pairing with Milford was “where it needs to be” for a premiership tilt.
Considered the Queensland State of Origin team’s potential long-term playmakers, Hunt and Milford face their greatest test yet in a breakthrough year in Sunday’s NRL grand final against the Cowboys.
They line up against the Maroons’ current stars Michael Morgan and Johnathan Thurston, still buzzing from a record fourth Dally M Medal win.
But Hunt says they are backing themselves to again deliver the form that has provided flashbacks of Allan Langer and Kevin Walters’ 1990s heyday for Tallis.
“I think we have got to where we need to be,” Hunt said.
“In the last month or two with Milf it has come together.
“This time of year is when you want to be playing your best football, I felt last weekend (preliminary final) was close to the best me and Milf had played all year.
“That’s what we will have to do on Sunday.”
Ex-Broncos hardman Tallis said Hunt’s wonderful combination with Milford that set up hooker Andrew McCullough’s first-half try in their 31-12 preliminary final win over the Roosters was vintage Langer-Walters.
“I swear it was like Alfie throwing it back inside to Kevvie to (hooker) Kerrod Walters,” he told Triple M radio.
“I got a bit of deja vu sitting on the sidelines.”
Thurston is putting on another master class this season, leading try assists (37) and line break assists (36) amongst others on the way to another Dally M.
Pivot Morgan has been the perfect point-scoring foil, with 15 tries in 22 games and 21 line breaks (top five in league).
But try-magnet Hunt’s kicking game and Milford’s darting runs threaten to upstage their more fancied rivals.
Hunt leads the league in average kicks (14.1 per game) and kick metres (440mpg) ahead of Thurston.
And he loves to take on the line along with Milford, with the pair scoring 25 tries this season between them.
Milford is averaging 100m a game and ranks in the league’s top 10 in tackle busts.
“Every game I feel we have matured more and more, especially Milfy,” Hunt said.
“Everyone was writing him off at the start of the year as a half partner …but now he is playing the best football of his career.”