Brotherly love helps Tevita Pangai Junior
Brisbane Broncos young gun Tevita Pangai Jnr has credited his brother's late-season arrival as the driving force behind his outstanding start to 2017.
Tevita's brother Mosese signed with the Broncos late last year, arriving at Red Hill from the Townsville Blackhawks after a stellar Intrust Super Cup season.
For Tevita this was the best news of his career, with the 21-year-old struggling to cope without any family in his new surroundings.
Signing with Brisbane from the Canberra Raiders in February of 2016, Tevita packed up his things and moved to a city where he knew no one.
A lonely experience, it didn't take long for Tevita to make friends with his new Broncos teammates, but he always felt like he was missing something.
That was family, but with Mosese arriving in August late last year, not only did Tevita feel more comfortable off the field, but on it as well.
The Junior Kangaroo's statistics indicated this, with the New South Welshman showcasing the quality that left many at the Raiders regretting his departure.
Tevita began his NRL career solidly in 2016, averaging 25 minutes and running for an average of 60 metres per game in a decent start to his Broncos career.
But Tevita has been a different player in 2017, with the arrival of his brother spurring him on.
He may be getting fewer minutes on the field, but he has increased his workload massively in his second year at Brisbane and it is no coincidence that this coincides with Mosese's arrival.
Tevita's average minutes per game have dropped to 23 this year, but he is now running for an average of 85 metres per game, with his work rate one of the best at the club.
A jump in 25 running metres on average is a huge step for Tevita and he is aiming to improve this number as the season progresses.
The quietly spoken prop told NRL.com that he credits this to his brother and the quality downtime they have been spending together to relax away from football.
"It's awesome having Mosese here. He's really enjoying being at the club," Tevita told NRL.com.
"He gets a long really well with all the boys and he's really enjoying the lifestyle of living in Brisbane.
"We are pretty close. I spent the day with him on Sunday. We try and meet up a fair bit. I always invite him over for a barbecue and we just chill out.
"I was so happy when the Broncos signed him. I didn't have any family here in my first year so that was pretty tough.
"Being here by myself wasn't the best so I love him being here and having some family around.
"He's really enjoying his footy and I'm really enjoying seeing him so happy."
Happiness has been a common feeling among Broncos fans watching Tevita and his young counterparts come off the bench in outstanding fashion.
Tevita is one of three forwards in their young 20s that occupy Brisbane's bench and they have all come together this year to create one of the most impressive young forward packs in the competition.
Tevita, Herman Ese'ese and Jai Arrow make up three quarters of the Broncos' bench and they have bonded since being promoted to first grade, with the three often spending weekends together like all great mates do.
The other member of the bench is New Zealand international Alex Glenn, and Tevita believes Glenn has been the rock that has inspired his young teammates to new heights.
"All us young boys hang out a lot. Herman, Jai and myself are really close. Even Alex comes and hangs out with us when he's around," he said.
"Alex has been a great leader for us off the bench. He's given us so many tips.
"The great thing about our club is that the senior boys help us younger guys out a lot.
"This gives the younger boys like myself a lot of confidence. It makes us feel like we belong."