WHEN Ben Hunt shifted to the Dragons on a multi-million dollar five year deal last season he remarked that he felt subject to more scrutiny in Brisbane.
It's probably something the current Brisbane crop can relate to, but the blowtorch currently being applied to the misfiring Broncos looks like a candle compared to what Hunt endured last year.
The size and length of his deal was always going to bring pressure south of the border, but Hunt admits it went well beyond what he anticipated.
It was certainly enough to change his opinion on where the greater scrutiny lay. It's made the build-up to his second season in Wollongong a refreshing change.
The ongoing Jack de Belin saga, speculation over Gareth Widdop's future and the arrival of Corey Norman have all allowed the 29-year-old to avoid the spotlight. It's something he's embraced to start 2019.
"It's something I've noticed the last week or two the pressure's getting cranked up on the Broncos and not down here on me this year," Hunt said.
"I really tried to rip in through the preseason and start the season as best I could. I've just flown under the radar and done my job.
"I'm just feeling more comfortable really. In the first year you're just trying to find your place and get a feel for your teammates and that sort of thing.
"It's my second year and I'm just feeling more comfortable. You know how guys play and what they're like off the field so you just go about your business."
There's also been plenty to like about the combination Hunt is building with former Broncos halves partner Norman, the pair combining to steer the side to two crucial one-point wins in the last fortnight.
"It's two wins we desperately needed really. If we'd lost that on the weekend we'd have been one and three and it's pretty hard to get your season going then," Hunt said.
"We put ourselves in positions to win those games and at the end we were good enough to do it some clutch plays from Normy. I always knew he was a classy player and he just always delivers on the field."