Anthony Milford's career is one which has never quite hit the heights it should have.

From the heights of being one of the game's most talented youngsters to playing alongside Ben Hunt in that 2015 season when the Brisbane Broncos made the grand final, he has seemingly done nothing but crashed and burned ever since on the field.

Not all of that has been his fault, frankly.

While his own ability has at times abandoned him, he has been put into a number of tricky situations which, simply put, were never designed for him to thrive in.

Instead of being able to be the flamboyant running five-eighth his game so demanded, he was thrown into a role as the Broncos struggled where he needed to wear the number seven without an ounce of experience around him and lead one of the NRL's most successful clubs out of the pits of despair.

On big money, Milford simply wasn't able to deliver, and the pressure cooker environment left him eventually exiting the Broncos at the end of 2021, and the end of a contract which has been labelled by some as one of the worst to ever be signed in the NRL.

And it's hard to mount an argument against it.

The Broncos made the finals in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, but they never felt like a side who were going places, and Ben Hunt's departure to the Dragons at the start of 2018, followed by coach Wayne Bennett's at the start of 2019, kept sowing the seeds that would eventually sink the club.

Seibold's first year - 2019 - saw the Broncos scrape into the finals, but Milford's last two years, when he really had to stand up and lead the club, saw the Broncos sink to their first wooden spoon, before winding up 14th the following year.

Milford, experienced as he had become, didn't have the skillset to take the Broncos away from the bottom at that stage of his career, particularly when he was being tasked with playing behind a forward pack who were getting rolled almost each and every week.

His exit from the Broncos then got messy.

Supposed to sign with the South Sydney Rabbitohs for 2022, off-field issues prevented that move from going through, one that would have taken all the pressure off as he became a bench utility at one of the NRL's most successful clubs, who were also coming off a grand final appearance in 2021.

He would ultimately wind up with the Newcastle Knights once he was allowed back on the field, and while the men from the Hunter failed to succeed at any point in 2022, there were glimpses of the talent Milford had once shown during his junior days at the Canberra Raiders, where he also debuted as an NRL player back in 2013.

Those glimpses were enough to see a fight break out for his services, something that seemed like it would frankly never happen again at the end of his time at the Broncos.

In the end, the lure for Milford of linking up with the coach he played his best football under Wayne Bennett saw him elect to move to the Dolphins. The now veteran, who has played over 200 games of first-grade, would have realistically one final shot of saving his NRL career and re-inventing himself.

It's never an easy thing to do, and when Isaiya Katoa was preferred for the number six jumper alongside impressive halfback Sean O'Sullivan in the club's first halves combination, things seemed bleak for the Brisbane-born 28-year-old.

That didn't exactly improve as the Dolphins won their first three games with O'Sullivan and Katoa steering the ship.

But then, Katoa would miss Round 4, and so Milford came into the side to partner O'Sullivan. The Dolphins gave an excellent account of themselves in an 18-12 loss, but it could easily have been a win without injuries impacting them throughout the contest.

One of those injuries was O'Sullivan, who has ruptured his pectoral muscle and will now spend at least three months on the sideline.

That, in turn, has opened up the number seven jersey, which has been claimed by Milford.

But Milford, for all his talent, has never been an organiser. That was on full display during his final years at the Broncos.

The question now, as the Samoan representative prepares to take over the role from O'Sullivan for the foreseeable future, is how much has he improved?

He starts against a St George Illawarra Dragons team devoid of form and ideas, and seemingly with Anthony Griffin a dead man walking in the coaches box. If he can't figure out how to get the Dragons over the Milford-led Dolphins on Saturday evening, he might as well head straight to his car from WIN Stadium in the post-game and never return. In truth, his papers are already marked and should have been signed last week with a horror loss to the Cronulla Sharks in front of 15,000 fans during the local derby at home.

But I digress - we aren't talking about Griffin.

No, we are talking about the career-defining test arriving for Milford.

Wayne Bennett in his press conference last week suggested he has always believed Milford is an organiser, even if most of the on-field evidence points the other way, but also said Milford showed enough to impress last week.

And he isn't wrong.

His defence was susceptible as he got back up to NRL-level pace, but he kicked for almost 400 metres and had some strong runs of the football.

With Katoa back in the side, it will be Milford's role to organise this team. Don't discredit the return of Jeremy Marshall-King this week either given how excellent he was to start the season for the NRL's newest club.

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But this is mainly on Milford.

If he excels for the Dolphins over the next couple of months, then not only does he sign his next contract which will see him play through to retirement in the competition, but he saves his reputation, and the legacy he once had built as the game's brightest young talent.

He will recapture some of that fanfare that he once had.

If he fails, then the Dolphins go out in reverse looking for answers, and Milford's career will be at a crossroads.

It's not a role which should, on paper at least, suit him, but this time, he has more experienced, and a better forward pack to run behind.

Time will tell, but he might just have the tools to make this work.