Maroons concede there's no way to stop Payne Haas
NSW prop Junior Paulo says fellow front-rower Payne Haas' best is still ahead, with Queensland admitting they are already at a loss trying to work out how to stop the Brisbane star.
Haas will come up against two Broncos teammates in the Maroons pack next Wednesday night, with Tom Flegler recalled at prop and Pat Carrigan at lock.
At age 23, Haas is already the undisputed best front-rower in the world.
The Newcastle junior leads this year's Dally M by three points, and has been named in the NRL's team of the year in three of the past four seasons.
But as far as Paulo is concerned, the scary thing is his "alpha-dog" NSW teammate Haas is still well off his prime.
"Since he came on the scene he had been able to do freakish stuff as a front-rower," Paulo said.
"There has been talk about him being a once-in-a-generation front-rower, and that's the kind of player he is.
"He is only going to get better the more he comes of age. The more mature he is, he is only going to get better.
"To see how young he was when he came on the scene and be doing it for a number of years, you can see the player he is going to mount himself to be."
Paulo's comments came after Carrigan and Flegler conceded there was little they could do to blunt Haas' impact in Adelaide.
In a monster year the hulking 117kg figure has increased his workload from last year considerably, averaging the most metres per game of all forwards in the NRL with 190.
Something Carrigan and Flegler are fully aware of headed into next week, after spending the year alongside him and rolling through the middle off the back of his momentum.
"Has anyone worked that out?" Carrigan said, when asked how to stop Haas.
"I just ride on his coat tails.
"You can't focus too much on one person but there's never going to be another Payne Haas.
"What he's doing is remarkable and he's leading the Dally M for a reason."
Flegler said he too did not have an answer for his teammate, with Haas having publicly backed him to return to the Maroons team this year.
"He's fit as. Does not stop, both sides of the ball. And such a big body," Flegler said.
"Anyone that size that runs as quick as him is going to be hard to stop."