Senior Broncos back Pangai Jr
DARIUS Boyd has seen these sensation-of-the-week players come and go in rugby league.
Some become seasoned professionals. Others have weaknesses in their football or their characters exposed by scrutiny.
The Broncos skipper says Tevita Pangai Jr will succeed in the long term because he is smart enough to ask the right questions of the right people at the Broncos.
Pangai jolted Cowboys hard heads Jason Taumalolo and Josh McGuire in defence last Friday and had the power and mobility with the ball to score a try and offload for another.
Just as assuredly, that whale of a match has put a target on him, that every ambitious, young forward in the NRL will also want to make a name in a match the Bronco contests.
Pangai said that he has tried to keep off social media to avoid distractions this season, a vital one for him with his added responsibility in a young pack rotation.The 23-year-old said in an interview that the retired Sam Thaiday had quipped to him that he was prone to get a "big head'' if he wasn't careful.
"Tevita is a great kid but he has a great footy brain and thinks about his football a lot,'' Boyd said.
"He works hard and is smart is rugby league terms especially.
"He asks questions. It's one of the best traits he has. He will ask the leaders in the team (and) the coaching staff what he can do better and how to do it better. If he wants to see any video, he'll ask the staff to arrange it for him.
"He has a great head on his shoulders and if he can keep progressing he will go as long way in rugby league.''
Former stalwart Broncos prop Petero Civoniceva said Pangai, David Fifita, Payne Haas, Thomas Flegler and Jaydn Su'A had to deal this year with the pitfalls of public scrutiny while young men.
"Unfortunately in big time sport, there are a lot of people who want to back slap you when things are going well,'' Civoniceva said.
"You can easily fall into the trap of believing (you are a success) and suffer because you aren't keeping your eyes on the target - what you need to do week in and week out.''