Ben Hunt has revealed how his 2015 grand final heartbreak proved an important stepping stone in his NRL career.
Hunt endeared himself to St George Illawarra fans with a first-class display in his Dragons debut against former club Brisbane last week.
The Queensland and Australian representative signalled he was ready to make good on his massive six-year $6 million contract and capable of guiding the Red V into premiership contention.
Hunt was derided by some Broncos fans after he dropped the kick-off in extra-time of the Broncos' 2015 grand final loss, a mistake that directly led to Johnathan Thurston booting the match-winner.
Hunt bounced back to have a career-defining season in 2017, making his Queensland Origin debut and earning selection in Australia's World Cup-winning squad.
"The grand final came along and that was big setback," Hunt told Fox Sports' Queenslanders Only.
"It's something I learned a lot from, I just have to worry about myself and the people I trust and what they really think, not the people on the outside.
"That was one of the things that got me through it."
Hunt has endured a rollercoaster career and for his first four seasons of first-grade under former Broncos coaches Ivan Henjak and Anthony Griffin, played off the bench.
He admitted that between 2010-2013, he at times carried extra weight that slowed his progress.
"I had that great year of under-20s and after that it was a bit of my own fault that I faded away a bit," Hunt said.
"I put on a few extra kilos, found myself playing that utility role, not really playing a lot of minutes.
"We did have a couple of good halves ahead of us like Darren Lockyer and Peter Wallace.
"I finally got my chance and I took it with both hands."