Broncos five-eighth Duncan Paia'Aua scores against the Dragons in last week's Preliminary Final.

Tough love steels young Bronco

Duncan Paia'Aua calls it his hill.

At the base of Mount Archer in the Rockhampton suburb of Frenchville, Paia'aua (pronounced Pah-ee-ah-owa) would be forced to run up and down the hill at the park near the family's house as punishment for a sub-par performance in junior footy.

A boxer and rugby union player in his prime, Paia'Aua's father, Kolose, knew that sacrifices had to be made and whole commitment given if his son's God-given talents were to bear anything more than making the kids around Rocky look silly.

"At Frenchville up near Mt Archer, that was my hill. If I played a bad game he'd get me to go to the park straight away and make me do hill sprints and stuff like that," Paia'Aua tells NRL.com ahead of his biggest and potentially last game for the Brisbane Broncos, Sunday's Holden Cup Grand Final. "At the time I didn't enjoy it but looking back, he had a method to it so it's all good.

"He raised me pretty tough. Being tough on me probably showed me a lot of discipline. When I was younger he pushed me a lot, forcing me to train and all that but I guess it paid off in the end."

Paia'Aua and fellow halves partner Ashley Taylor have both been contracted with the Broncos since the age of 12 and now get the chance to deliver the club its first under-20s premiership and a first premiership of any kind since 2006 when they meet the Warriors in the opening game of Grand Final Day.

A former Queensland Rugby under-16 representative, Paia'Aua has signed to play rugby with the Queensland Reds in 2015 but is determined to leave the club on the best possible note.

"I haven't really thought about [the move to the Reds] actually, just trying to do the best I can for the Broncos and hopefully win a grand final before I leave," said the 19-year-old who trained with the NRL squad in the lead-up to season 2014.

"The build-up's pretty good but we're going to treat it as a normal week and just concentrate on playing our game.

"We just make sure we keep it simple, stick to the game-plan and hopefully we can put in an 80-minute performance.

"Me and Ash have been signed with the club since we were 12 so we basically grew up together, we know each other's game and we're pretty comfortable playing with each other.

"He's had a few shoulder problems and came back halfway through the year and we've made a pretty good combination."

But while for many players appearing on NRL Grand Final Day a new aspect of their preparation is trying to source tickets for family members, Paia'Aua didn't even ask the question.

Born in Wellington New Zealand before moving to Melbourne and then Rockhampton at the age of six, Paia'Aua is the fourth-eldest in a family of 11 children. 

So rather than looking for a bay full of family members on Sunday, Paia'Aua's support will come from within the walls of the Sunday congregation at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in North Rockhampton.

"There's too many in my family to get them tickets. I have seven sisters and three brothers and I've got two nephews and one niece so they'll all be watching on TV up there in Rockhampton.

"My dad called me yesterday and said they are going to watch it at my church after church on Sunday. Hopefully I don't disappoint."