Milford runs into Dolphins form with perfect timing
When Dolphins No.6 Anthony Milford put on a show and go and split the St George Illawarra defence to score, he knew it was a sign his mojo is coming back.
"That is no secret. That is one of my strengths ... running the ball," Milford said after the 26-12 win over the Dragons on Thursday night.
"I kind of felt like I was on because, with one of my first touches, I ran the ball."
His seven runs for 75 metres, combined with all the other good things he did in his best display of the year, are another positive development for the Dolphins, who have now won seven games out of 12 to move to 16 points and inside the NRL top eight.
The 28-year-old's kicking was immaculate with seven bombs, two forced line dropouts and three carefully weighted grubbers.
It was his defensive wallop of opposite number Talatau Amone that caught the eye and suggested Milford has worked hard in that area.
"Every half has to," he said.
"You are a spot target for every team. It is about picking your moments and making sure you do come up with the play."
Milford was at the top of his game under Wayne Bennett in 2015 and 2016 for the Broncos where his electrifying speed and footwork was too hot to handle. He played for Queensland in State of Origin in 2017 and 2018.
The last three seasons have been a struggle and he was sent to play for Central Queensland Capras in the Queensland Cup at the start of this year to find some form.
That form is now starting to return after he missed four weeks with a hamstring injury.
"It has been a tough journey. I am not going to lie there but the coach (Bennett) has always been having my back," he said.
"I just make sure I work hard every day. It is paying off. I am enjoying my footy."
The performance team at the Dolphins, led by Jeremy Hickmans, has whipped Milford into shape and he has put in the hard yards.
"I have worked with (Hickmans) at the Broncos and he knows my body and what I need," he said.
Milford, winger Jamayne Isaako and utility Kodi Nikorima are just three of the players Dolphins coach Bennett has rejuvenated at the Dolphins after coaching them previously.
Milford said he knew reuniting with his old Broncos coach Bennett would revitalise him.
"Definitely," he said.
"That's why I wanted to come back (under Bennett) and do whatever I can to make myself a better player."