Anthony Milford during a Queensland State of Origin training session in Brisbane.
Anthony Milford during a Queensland State of Origin training session in Brisbane. DAVE HUNT

Cronk urges Milford to keep it simple

ANTHONY Milford's halves partner Cooper Cronk says the brilliant Bronco needs to concentrate on "two things that make him a really good player" when he makes his Origin debut on Wednesday night.

Milford will start at five-eighth for Queensland after Johnathan Thurston was yesterday ruled out with a shoulder injury.

And Cronk is backing the prodigious Broncos half to be at his best with the responsibility of getting the team around the ground handed over to the remainder of the Queensland spine.

"For Anthony Milford, I think what he needs to do is just focus on two things that make him a really good player and just concentrate on that," Cronk said.

"There's a few other blokes that know how to get a football team around the paddock.

"I'll have a chat to Milf and just say, 'listen, there's no need to worry about the other stuff that goes on, there's a few guys that can manage that, you just bring what you do best to the football field in terms of the skill and worry about that'."

But if Milford sees an opportunity, Cronk said he had free licence to take it.

"If he sees something, he has every right to overcall," Cronk said.

"There's no ranking system in our football team. If you see something, do not hesitate, get your hands on the ball and do it.

"The advice is see ball, get ball and take it from there.


Cooper Cronk of the Storm.
Cooper Cronk of the Storm. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

"But don't stress about the management or the running or the game running of the team.

"What Milford brings to the football team is that one-on-one ability to explode and beat someone.

"I'll try and other people will try to get him in that position as much as possible but in terms of game management, there's a couple of guys that know what they're doing, so I think we'll be okay."

Milford is a shy character off the field but Cronk believed he would have full confidence to back himself if he saw an opportunity.

"Overcalling comes quite naturally," he said.

"As a rugby league player, you train to take advantage of those situations, so he won't be sitting back going, 'I won't do that'.

"If you see an opportunity, don't hesitate.

"That's what Origin's about, it's about moments and it's about not hesitating and you've got to be ready and prepared to do it."

But Cronk said Milford also had to be ready to do his share of defending on the left side with Will Chambers and Josh Papalii.

"Origin's about defence and hanging in there and he needs to make sure that he's doing all those right things," Cronk said.

"A lot of people talk about the big plays and the big Origin moments, the reason those things happen is you do the little things well - little things make big things happen."

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