Too soon to talk up Hunt-Milford: Hodges

They have already earned comparisons with Allan Langer and Kevin Walters – from Langer himself.

But Brisbane skipper Justin Hodges does not believe his young halves Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford have warranted such accolades – yet.

Langer and Walters are considered the Broncos’ greatest halves after combining to win titles from 1992-93 and 1997-98.

And Langer has rated Hunt and Milford the “closest thing” to his title winning union with Walters.

The young duo looked the part as they ran amok with a combined five tries in last round’s 47-12 NRL romp over South Sydney.

However, Hodges said it was too soon to rate the Hunt-Milford pairing.

“You can’t put them in the class of Kevvie and Alf,” Hodges said.

“They are still young.

“They are playing great footy – that is all we need from them right now.”

Hunt and Milford have blossomed this season under the guidance of returning coach Wayne Bennett and assistants Langer and Walters at the Broncos.

Hunt tops the NRL in kicks in play (319) and kick metres (9807m) while he has combined with Milford to make a total 28 line break assists and 28 try assists to date.

The pair have this season also helped Brisbane vie for their first minor premiership since 2000.

But Hodges baulked at comparing Hunt and Milford with anyone, saying the youngsters did not need extra pressure ahead of next week’s NRL finals.

“I don’t want too much expectation put on them,” he said.

“They are young kids and I just want to see them grow as players.

“They will get the rewards later on in life.”

But Hodges believes Hunt and Milford could make an immediate impact, claiming the pair are finals-ready thanks to their 12-10 loss to Sydney Roosters a fortnight ago.

“I think the Roosters game was the best game for them,” he said.

“Our halves probably hadn’t played in that sort of intensity, it was like an Origin match.

“Guys like Hunty, Milf benefited from that.”

Hodges – who will retire at season’s end – did not rule out the duo doing something special in his NRL finals swansong.

But he hoped his teammates had not adopted a “do it for Hodgo” approach.

“I don’t want it to be about me, it’s all about them,” said 33-year-old Hodges, who made his NRL debut way back in 2000.

“If they continue to do what they have been doing, great things are going to happen.”

Brisbane will try to keep their slim minor premiership hopes alive in Thursday night’s regular season finale against Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.

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