Haas apologises to Tino for Origin brawl

Darren Walton
·2-min read

Payne Haas has personally apologised to Tino Fa'asuamaleaui for bringing the biff back to State of Origin but still expects to be Queensland's Public Enemy No.1 in next week's series decider in Brisbane.

Haas and Fa'asuamaleaui are free to resume their rivalry next Wednesday night after avoiding suspensions for their second-half fracas in NSW's 34-10 game-two mauling in Sydney.

The Origin hard men both avoided being charged with striking, and were instead handed the lesser contrary conduct charges resulting in small fines.

Had the forwards been banned, it would have robbed the decider one of the great storylines after Queensland coach Wayne Bennett provided further spice.

Bennett sensationally blamed the media for igniting the fisticuffs, insisting a newspaper story that recalled how Haas and Fa'asuamaleaui traded barbs in an Origin under18-s game three years ago fuelled the fire between the pair.

Fa'asuamaleaui's manager even claimed his charge "sat Haas on his arse", prompting Bennett to take exception in the bitter aftermath to the Maroons hammering at the hands of the rampant Blues.

"I just saw the headline he and Payne going for each other," Bennett said.

"They are young men - 20 years of age. Headlines throw fuel on the fire. I knew deep down there was going to be a blue between the pair of them."

Haas played down the apparent hostility, saying there were no hard feelings between he and Maroons firebrand Fa'asuamaleaui.

"I'm friends with Tino so I apologised to him after. I felt that was out of my character to start that," Haas said.

"I hardly versed Tino growing up and he's a year younger than me so, yeah, I don't know where that stuff's come from.

"I don't know if that's just his agent trying to start some stuff but, when you see that kind of stuff, you don't get into it, especially if it's not true.

"So I didn't get really into it, it doesn't really matter. On the field, whatever really happens stays on the field."

After going 11 rounds without tasting victory with Brisbane during the Broncos' dismal 2020 NRL season, Haas was more intent on savouring a rare win.

"I forgot what winning feels like so it's good to win. It's been a tough year at the 'Broncs'," he said.

But despite being one of the Broncos fans' beloved bests, Haas fully expects to be heckled when he dons a Blues jersey in the series decider in front of his usual "home" crowd at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Not that he'll take that personally, either.

"That's Origin," he said.

"We'll be getting booed next week. It won't matter to them. Queenslanders are real passionate, as everyone knows, and they won't give you nothing."