AS A member of the past three voting panels selecting rugby league's Immortals, one of the principal qualities sought in the candidates was their ability to perform under pressure.

It is a trait that unquestionably separates champions from the rest.

And while season 2014 is only two weeks old and no single player or team has announced to the world they are ready to dominate the premiership race, three members of the Broncos organisation have already turned pressure from a burden, to merely a word.

Anthony Griffin, Andrew McCullough and Josh Hoffman can take an early-season bow.

Along with Dragons counterpart Steve Price, the spotlight on coach Griffin blazed the brightest of all.

Last year he oversaw the worst season in the history of a club that has finals football in its DNA.

A repeat of that in 2014 will result in him being cut loose and few successful careers follow a first-appointment sacking.

Obviously two wins from two means little, albeit its much healthier than the alternative.

But what has been refreshing about Griffin is his demeanour under immense scrutiny and criticism.

If he is feeling the pressure of the many knives ready to be plunged into his back, he is not showing it - not publicly, anyway.

McCullough also came into this season under the microscope.

The good oil was that every ounce of recruitment nous and every last Broncos dollar had been banked to lure Cameron Smith to Brisbane next year, a signing that would have left the 24-year-old veteran of 127 NRL games in no man's land.

Yet under all that stress he trained the house down the during the pre-season and in two outings has played all 160 minutes, amassed a phenomenal 116 tackles, won Nine's man-of-the-match award in game one and scored the winning try in game two.

That folks, is what can colloquially be referred to as ignoring the heat in the kitchen.

Hoffman's case was different, and the burden on him was self-generated.

He put himself in a position where it appeared he had thrown the toys from the cot and wanted out because he could not play in his preferred position of fullback.

Even his dad and his manager became involved in what became a media feeding frenzy.

And while not exactly alerting Dally M judges with his form in the unfamiliar No.6 jersey, he has been adventurous and gutsy.

And his last-gasp play to rake the ball from the outstretched arms of Johnathan Thurston in the dying stages last Friday night was a game saver. Disgruntled blokes just don't do that.

On the grander scale of things, this Broncos trio has achieved little.

But what they have done is show courage under fire.


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