Brisbane playmaker Anthony Milford is determined to turn his NRL grand final agony into a positive.
The five-eighth says his stellar 2016 form has nothing to do with the sting of being banned from Queensland State of Origin selection for 12 months after breaking curfew at an emerging players camp earlier this year.
Instead it’s the more intense pain of the golden point defeat to North Queensland in last year’s decider which is spurring Milford to new heights.
The 21-year-old has been a crucial element in the Broncos charge to the top end of the ladder, leading the way for the club in several key attacking stats.
No-one at Red Hill has more tries (8), more linebreak assists (10) or tackle busts (40) than the talented ex-Canberra half.
Milford also has 10 try assists in 2016 and turned match-winner in an epic grand final replay against the Cowboys earlier this year with a 40m golden point field goal.
“The way we missed out last year is what’s driving me,” Milford said.
“Just a fear of failure and the boys are working too hard to let them down, that’s what keeps me going.”
Milford, who sat out the representative weekend after reportedly being blocked from playing for Samoa by Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, says he made the most of the week off to refresh himself.
The Broncos play Manly at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday in what is a home match for the Sea Eagles.
With three tries and two try assists in his past five match against the Sea Eagles, Milford will be full of confidence he can deliver another match-winning hand on the path to removing that grand final pain.
“That’s one thing I told myself this year, just try to enjoy my footy as much as I can and I think that’s showing out there on the field,” he said.