Few players understand the challenge of a mid-career positional switch like Broncos legend Darren Lockyer.
The transcendent multi-positional player has been used by coaches many times since as the blueprint to prove to their pupils that it can be done.
Many of tried, few have succeeded, but Anthony Milford has made a better fist of it than most.
Having made his mark in the NRL as an explosive teenage fullback who burst onto the scene at the Raiders, Milford was brought to the Broncos by Wayne Bennett on a multi million-dollar deal and an eye to turning him into Lockyer 2.0.
There were early successes too, with Milford the best player afield for the first 79 minutes of the 2015 grand final.
He could have so easily sealed his legacy as the playmaker to deliver the Broncos' first premiership in a decade in his first year at the club if not for an outrageous Michael Morgan flick pass, an unthinkable kick off drop from Ben Hunt and that Johnathan Thurston field-goal.
How different would his career have been with a Clive Churchill Medal hanging around his neck as he walked the lap of honour as a 21-year-old?
Certainly it would have been close to unthinkable having achieved that honour that the Broncos would be attempting to reverse engineer 'the Lockyer' turning him from a five-eighth back into a fullback for the benefit of his ailing skipper Darius Boyd.
However, that's the situation he's in after Anthony Seibold flicked the switch mid-season, decreasing his workload as a frontline defender while adding a whole lot of extra ground for him to cover per game.
Lockyer says fullbacks run an extra two kilometres a game compared to five-eighths, with the gap increasing to three kilometres for the absolute elite.
It's a huge ask of a player to live up to those aerobic demands without having trained for it in the pre-season and according to Lockyer that could be the difference between the Broncos keeping their finals dream alive beyond week one.
"I think the Broncos are not going to win finals games playing a structured game. I think it's going to come down to a bit of ad lib football – get some second phase footy," Lockyer told Wide World of Sports' QLDER.
"Kotoni Staggs has been in great form on that right edge, Milford, he's got to inject himself more, but for mine I think those guys will come to life if they get some second phase.
"Milf went there (to fullback) in the middle of the year and you go from playing in the front line and making 20 tackles a game to going out the back and running probably an extra two, maybe three kilometres at fullback but not making the same amount of tackles, so it's a different level of fitness.
"I still don't think he's there in terms of the fitness level he needs to be for him to be the best he can be at fullback, so again I think he needs to be sniffing around the ruck for that second phase footy because he's still explosive off the mark and I think that's where he could be dangerous."
While that's easy to say it's not necessarily easy to do if you've spent a pre-season, or in the case of Milford, several pre-seasons training your body for completely different fitness demands.
It's here that Parramatta have a clear edge on their Queensland rivals in Sunday's elimination final.
While the Broncos have a liquorice all sorts spine, with the three of the four starters playing out of position, Parramatta boast a talented halfback who at 24 is just starting to enter his prime years and a fullback who is among the fittest players in the competition and never misses a chance to chime into his side's attack.
Not only is Clint Gutherson all action in attack, with Lockyer admitting he's been "outstanding all year", as Parramatta's captain he's also a vocal leader, giving the Eels the advantage of a strong voice at the back where defensive organisation is hugely important.
The Broncos by contrast traded their defensive quarterback, Boyd, out of that role to surround him in the front-line with their strongest defenders and to take advantage of his game managing skills after losing young No.7 Tom Dearden to injury.
It's a trade that has had its wins but, as Wally Lewis pointed out, a troubling flip side from a communication point-of-view as well.
"He's not probably the most devastating conversationalist in the National Rugby League, he's not the best talker in the game, but he tends to inject himself at every opportunity available," Lewis told QLDER.
"Let's hope that's going to continue because these are the guys who are going to be inspired by the opportunity to play finals football and keep their opportunities alive."
Undoubtedly Milford's attacking fullback play is of a high enough level to win the Broncos a final but the bigger factor, according to Lockyer, is the Broncos' ability to stop points being scored against them.
Defence starts with attitude and after leaking 30 points to the Bulldogs when their finals fate still hadn't been decided Lockyer wondered what the team would bring away from Suncorp Stadium this Sunday.
"What I'm concerned about is that they haven't been able to replicate the energy when they play away from Suncorp compared to when they play at home," Lockyer said.
"They're going to Bankwest Stadium this Sunday, into a very hostile environment, and they've got to find some energy.
"You talk about defensive deficiencies and -57 (the points differential the Broncos finished the regular season on) is not really a reflection of they can't score points, it's more saying they can't defend.
"The Bulldogs' highest score of the year was 30 and that was last week against the Broncos, so that's first and foremost the area they've got to fix."
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