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Milford goes down in Brisbane NRL win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/06/2017 Laine Clark

A shoulder injury to Anthony Milford has soured Brisbane's 24-18 NRL win over South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium.

All eyes might have been on halves partner Kodi Nikorima before Friday night's match after he had replaced Broncos dumped star No.7 Ben Hunt for the round-14 clash.

But Queensland five-eighth Milford became the talking point after he suffered a suspected dislocated left shoulder, falling awkwardly trying to dive on the ball in the 72nd minute.

Milford's chances of playing in June 21's State of Origin II in Sydney are in jeopardy.

He had been expected to retain the Maroons' No.6 jersey for Origin II if Johnathan Thurston failed to recover from his shoulder injury.

Hunt had looked set for an extended stint in the Queensland Cup after being demoted by Wayne Bennett to find form.

But Hunt might be rushed back into the line-up next match, with Milford going down and Nikorima failing to embrace his big chance on Friday.

Nikorima did a pretty good impersonation of the dumped Hunt from the outset - for all the wrong reasons.

In scenes almost identical to Hunt's infamous 2015 NRL grand final gaffe, Nikorima knocked on from the kickoff in a nightmare start against the Rabbitohs.

His luck rarely changed.

He helped set up Matt Gillett's 19th-minute try but he was repeatedly exposed in defence.

Souths centre Bryson Goodwin outjumped him to score in the 25th minute before Sam Burgess steamrolled Nikorima to cross in the 45th minute and lock up the scores at 12-12.

However, it didn't stop Brisbane snapping a two-game losing run in front of a 30,578-strong crowd.

It was the Rabbitohs' third-straight defeat.

Broncos and Queensland fullback Darius Boyd all but proved the difference, giving Maroons coach Kevin Walters more to think on.

Walters will decide whether to replace Boyd with Billy Slater at fullback on Monday when he names his Queensland Origin II team.

Brisbane led 12-6 at halftime before Sam Burgess locked up the scores while trampling Nikorima.

Brisbane centre Tautau Moga was denied a 53rd-minute try due to poor grounding but they weren't to be denied, sealing the result with tries to Jordan Kahu (58th minute) and Sam Thaiday (63rd).

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