Plan to shut Fifita down
THE Broncos are preparing Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima for a bruising showdown with Andrew Fifita by ordering the pint- sized halves to tackle the Sharks giant’s best mate – controversial enforcer Matt Lodge.
Fifita is primed to terrorise the Broncos this Friday night when he returns to Suncorp Stadium, the scene of his rampaging Origin I display that saw him labelled NSW’s version of Arthur Beetson.
But Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has a tactical ace up his sleeve in Lodge, who was yesterday deployed as a Fifitaclone at training as he charged at pocket- rocket duo Milford and Nikorima.
If anyone can match Fifita as a physical specimen, it is Lodge, who plays for Brisbane’s feeder- club Redcliffe in the Intrust Super Cup.
At 193cm and 114kg, the hulking Lodge is 1cm shorter and 2kg lighter than Fifita.
The duo remain close friends, with Fifita having stayed at Lodge’s Brisbane home the night before his man- of- the- match ance in Origin I.
Nikorima and Milford have both endured shoulder problems in the past 12 months, but their willingness to confront Lodge yesterday gives them confidence they can hold their own against Fifita.
“If he runs my way, I just have to do what I’ve been practising,” Nikorima said.
“The key is line- speed because Fifita is a big boy and if he gets momentum, the big fella usually wins.
“We have been ( tackling Lodge) for perform- doing it the last couple of weeks shoulders right.
“Milf has had a shoulder problem and I had shoulder surgery last year. I had another little complaint earlier in the season so Wayne ( Bennett) is making us do extra tackling.”
Broncos skipper Darius Boyd was a member of the Queensland side which was ripped apart by Fifita in Origin I. to get our
The Maroons successfully formulated a game plan to muzzle Fifita for the remaining two games and Boyd is confident the Broncos pack has the mobility and toughness to shut down the Sharks hardman.
“He is hard to stop,” Boyd said of Fifita.
“In Origin I, we weren’t at our best and he had a great game, but in Origin II and III we practised a few things.
“We nullified his attacking game in particular.
“It’s the same again when we play Cronulla. If you want to nullify him, you have to get up in his face and not let him run with the ball because he has some great skills.
“He can offload and pass, so he is a real danger to us.”