Jon Tuxworth June 24, 2012
TALENTED teenager Anthony Milford further enhanced his growing reputation with a superb three-try performance in Canberra's 38-22 win over North Queensland in the under-20s clash in Townsville yesterday.
On a high after being named the club's SG Ball player of the year earlier this week, regular Raiders halfback Milford ran the Cowboys ragged at left centre.
The 18-year-old's style has been likened to Benji Marshall and Shaun Johnson, and his speed and footwork threatened the Cowboys throughout the match.
After re-signing Toyota Cup halfback Mitch Cornish until 2015 recently, Canberra is keen to lock up Milford beyond his current deal which expires at the end of next year.
Up against the slumping Cowboys, the second-placed Raiders looked poised for another easy win when they crossed for two early tries to take an 8-0 lead.
But helped by some sloppy Raiders errors in the humid conditions, the hosts took an 18-16 advantage early in the second half through a try to fullback Zac Santo.
But led by fine games from Cornish and Jack Ahearn, the Raiders pulled away late in the game to secure their 11th win in 14 matches.
Despite the comfortable scoreline, it was far from Canberra's most convincing performance.
They completed just 68 per cent of their sets, but cleaned up well in defence and only missed six tackles.
Raiders lock Hayden Crockett put together another hard-working effort with 37 tackles and 88 metres, while second-rower Michael Chee Kam (107m) and interchange forward Peter Irwin (107m) were also strong.
Toyota Cup Round 16: CANBERRA RAIDERS 38 (Anthony Milford 3, Mitch Cornish 2, Jonathon Reuben, Jeff Lynch, Matt Allwood tries; Cornish 3 goals) bt NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS 22 (Luke Abdul-Rahman, Brady Williams, Francis Veukiso, Zac Santo, Rogan Dean tries; Sam Foster goal) at Dairy Farmers Stadium yesterday.