The greatest playmaker to ever do it, Andrew Johns, has issued Broncos halves Brodie Croft and Anthony Milford a monumental reality check.
The greatest playmaker to ever do it, Andrew Johns, has issued Broncos halves Brodie Croft and Anthony Milford a monumental reality check following Brisbane’s 28-16 loss to the Titans.
After a promising display in their opening-round loss to the Eels, Kevin Walters’ Broncos had pundits proclaiming the woe of Brisbane’s historic 2020 wooden-spoon season looked far behind them.
It’s taken just seven days, however, for those sentiments to be thrown out the window after the Broncos went down in a poor showing against one-time local minnows Gold Coast.
At the core of the Broncos’ troubles appear to be the same issues that dogged them amid former coach Anthony Seibold’s tenure – lack of experience, patchy defence and voiceless leadership on park.
But if there’s one problem that needs addressing ahead of the pack it’s what to do with the club’s No.6 and 7.
Johns was at a loss for words over Croft and Milford’s efforts on Friday night, even going so far as to label aspects of the pair’s game “like under 6s”.
“There are some individuals in that team that are really promising, they have some good players around the park, but their halves are just not delivering,” Johns told Wide World of Sports’ The Final Whistle.
“Brodie Croft looks so down on confidence and Anthony Milford was really poor again. I don’t know where Kevin goes for those guys in that position. You see those missed tackles, it’s like under 6s.”
“There was one stage in that game when the Broncos were on the attack and chasing some points, and Brodie Croft didn’t touch the ball inside the opposition’s 20. What are you doing? Halves play together.
“I didn’t see them bring any of their players into the game.”
NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler was particularly confused by how far Milford’s game had regressed in just seven days.
“Watching them this week they took two steps back,” Fittler said.
“The way Milford started the season, the confidence he showed against Parramatta was like ‘Wow, here we go’. Then a week later it’s, how did we get to that? So early?”
Johns also took aim at the club’s recruitment strategies, still in disbelief that there were no experienced elder statesman to steady the ship.
“They’ve got some really good young players in that team; Flegler, Carrigan, Nui, Farnworth, Coates – but I don’t know where the leadership is?,” Johns said.
“I don’t know what’s happened to that club in their recruitment, they’ve got no older hard-heads in key positions.”
Brisbane have not won in 13 games and more than 250 days, stretching back to mid-last season en route to the wooden spoon.
There is already scrutiny on Walters, a five-time premiership-winning player at the club who is in his first head coaching role – and Johns saw little wiggle room.
JOHNS: “I don’t know what Kevie’s going to do.”
FITTLER: “Time, it’s going to take time.”
JOHNS: “Yeah, but they just don’t have time.”
FITTLER: “Well he might lose his job, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
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