‘Totally unnecessary’: Anthony Milford savaged over Reece Walsh ’dog shot’

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The NRL world has hit out at Dolphins star Anthony Milford after an ugly blindside hit on Broncos fullback Reece Walsh off the ball.

The Broncos ran away with a 28-14 win but only took a slender 6-4 lead into the halftime break after a tremendous first half, particularly considering the Dolphins lost fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow through a hamstring injury midway through the game.

It adds to their long injury list which includes Felise Kaufusi, Tom Flegler and Herbie Farnworth after that trio suffered injuries last week.

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But while the Battle of Brisbane had been tough as it lived up to its name, NRL fans have hit out after Milford’s hit.

With just under four minutes left in the half, the Broncos put up a midfield bomb which was allowed to bounce.

Referee Adam Gee had penalised Broncos’ Kotoni Staggs for being off-side from the kick but realised Reece Walsh was left on the ground.

Gee asked: “What happened here?”

The commentators hadn’t seen it either but the replay showed Milford and flattened Walsh on his blindside.

“Oh, hang on a sec,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League.

As the replay went up, the crowd was not happy with Gee putting Milford on report, but also awarding the Dolphins a penalty.

Broncos captain Pat Carrigan wasn’t thrilled but accepted the explanation, although Voss added he had “every right to say ‘big whoop’.”

On Channel 9, Paul Vautin blasted the ugly hit.

“That was totally unnecessary from Milford — it’s a brain explosion,” Vautin said. “He didn’t have to.”

And the Broncos fans were left more unhappy when the Dolphins got the penalty as it had been called first.

But the question soon arose about whether it should have been a sin bin.

Commentator Peter Psaltis asked: “Did he find himself fortunate he was able to stay on the field?”

“The illegal play came second in that case but I’m surprised he didn’t get binned,” Vautin replied.

Fans agreed.

Bunyip Newspaper journalist Jem Nash posted: “That is such a dog shot from Milford. Ball wasn’t even close to going to Walsh.”

“Milford goes in that late on Walsh and no sin bin either. Utter joke,” one fan tweeted.

Another said: “How is Milford still on? wtf? Ref is cooked. There was no reason for him to put his hands on Walsh.”

Another suggested: “Protect the star players! Milford absolutely took Walsh out there and knew what he was doing. On report my a**e.”

Even those who praised Milford for his act in trying to take out Walsh said the 29-year-old could think about it on his week off.

And there were plenty of others not fit for print.

Walsh is in his first game back since round 3 when he suffered a facial fracture after a head clash with Taylan May.

He’s wearing a custom headgear with extra cheek protection.

Although Walsh had a quieter than expected game throughout the first half, the fullback raced away, completing a 90m try in broken play to give the Broncos a 16-4 lead in the 54th minute.

Walsh finished the game with 10 runs for 147m and an offload — but he also run nearly 80m for his try and also added four errors in his return from injury.

While the Dolphins held on for the first 50 minutes of the game, three tries in seven minutes blew the scoreline out as the Broncos took a 28-4 lead into the final 10 minutes.

The Dolphins did flatter the scoreline with a pair of late tries but the Broncos retain a perfect record in the Battle of Brisbane, now up 3-0 with a 28-14 win.