The Courier-Mail

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KEVVIE DROPS MILFORD

- CHRIS HONNERY

BRONCOS coach Kevin Walters has wielded the axe on his underperfo­rming stars, with million-dollar man Anthony Milford set to be dropped for Thursday’s clash with Penrith.

The shock axing comes as Milford’s future at Red Hill remains in limbo, with club bosses to decide by mid-June whether to offer the besieged playmaker a new contract with the Broncos. Tesi Niu is also in the firing line when Walters names his starting 17 today.

“The team needs something,” prop Matt Lodge said. “We’ve played the nice guy for a while and it’s not getting us anywhere.”

S omeone has to put their foot down and be ruthless ... It is a big call, b ut good on Kevvie

MATT LODGE

BRONCOS coach Kevin Walters has wielded the axe on his underperfo­rming stars, with million-dollar man Anthony Milford set to be dropped for Thursday’s clash with Penrith.

The shock axing comes as Milford’s future at Red Hill remains in limbo, with club bosses expected to decide by mid-June whether to offer the besieged playmaker a new contract with the Broncos.

Milford was relegated to Brisbane’s reserves squad during Monday’s training session, with Tom Dearden and Brodie Croft training as the starting halves pairing.

The 26-year-old wasn’t even substitute­d into the starting team in an early indication he will be playing for Souths Logan Magpies in this weekend’s Intrust Super Cup.

Tesi Niu is also in the firing line when Walters names his starting 17 today and is likely to be replaced by Jesse Arthars in the right-centre position.

The players have been warned more selection bombshells will drop if they continue to underperfo­rm.

“Everyone across the squad is vulnerable to it and if you’re not performing, Kevvie has shown that he’ll sit you out, including myself,” Broncos enforcer Matt Lodge said.

“The team needs something. We’ve played the nice guy for a while and it’s not getting us anywhere.

“Someone has to put their foot down and be ruthless.

“Whether it’s Milf this time, or me or whoever, there is a time when you’re not performing you’re out.

“It is a big call, but good on Kevvie.

“Milf cops a lot of heat and pressure but he should know it’s not all on him.

“There’s a lot of guys around him who are letting him down and unfortunat­ely he’s taking the (heat) for it ... he’s our senior guy.

“Kevvie has made a stand with him.”

The Broncos are 1-4 to start the season, including thumpings by Melbourne Storm and South Sydney in the past fortnight, and face their toughest challenge yet on Thursday night when they host ladder leaders Penrith at Suncorp Stadium. The poor win-loss record has prompted Walters to wield the selection axe for this week but Lodge warned it would be a longer process.

“Enough is enough and it won’t be tolerated,” Lodge said.

“It’s probably going to take more than a week to fix everything.

“Everyone who goes out there is trying hard, it’s just that their confidence is down, they’re out of form.

“It might be a little bit more of a process but Kevvie has come out and said he’s looking for little parts of the game you can control.

“If people aren’t doing that, he’ll fill the spot with someone else.”

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 ?? Pictures: Getty Images ?? Coach Kevin Walters watches his team’s loss to South Sydney; and (below) Anthony Milford.
Pictures: Getty Images Coach Kevin Walters watches his team’s loss to South Sydney; and (below) Anthony Milford.
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