Milford stakes Origin claim as Broncos rout Tigers, Dragons stop the rot

Anthony Milford showed he is ready for a State of Origin debut if called upon with an eye-catching display as Brisbane Broncos trounced Wests Tigers 36-0 to go joint-top of the NRL ladder.

Milford has been talked up as a potential replacement for Johnathan Thurston if the North Queensland Cowboys captain is ruled out of Origin I and the Broncos playmaker produced another lively display three days before Kevin Walters names his Queensland squad.

Wests lost half-back Luke Brooks to an ankle injury before kick-off at Suncorp Stadium, after they lost five-eighth Mitchell Moses to Parramatta Eels this week, and they were blown away in the first half.

Tautau Moga set the ball rolling with the opener and the outstanding Milford laid on tries for Alex Glenn, Korbin Sims and Jordan Kahu, who converted all four scores to put Wayne Bennett's side 24-0 up at the break.

Milford burst away to score a try of his own after Kodi Nikorima had added a fifth following a great run from the returning James Roberts as the Tigers were cut to pieces.

The Broncos, who have now won six consecutive matches to go level with Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm, suffered a blow midway through the second half when hooker Andrew McCullough was carted off after suffering a head injury.

Meanwhile, St George Illawarra Dragons ended their three-match losing run by beating New Zealand Warriors 30-14.

Kalifa Faifai Loa scored two of six Dragons tries as the Warriors were made to pay for a poor defensive display after Ben Matulino had put them in front with a four-pointer in his 200th Premiership match.

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