'Forgot what winning feels like': Origin prop's subtle dig at NRL club

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Payne Haas speaking after NSW's win and with the Broncos in the NRL on the right.
Payne Haas gave the Broncos a painful reminder of their horror season after NSW's Game II win. Pic: Ch9/Getty

Payne Haas is normally cheered on by fans when he steps out for a rugby league match at Suncorp Stadium but the NSW prop is readying himself for a hostile reception in next Wednesday's State of Origin decider.

The Blues belted the Maroons 34-10 in Game II at Sydney's ANZ Stadium to set up the chance to seal a third straight series win at Queensland's fortress in Brisbane next week.

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Haas doesn't have too many fond memories of Suncorp Stadium this year after his Broncos side finished with the NRL's wooden spoon, in a horror year for the proud Brisbane club.

Speaking after NSW's big win in Origin II, the rampaging prop couldn't help but bring up the painful reminder, in a subtle swipe that will no doubt fire up Maroons fans even more for the decider.

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

After going 11 rounds without tasting victory with Brisbane during the Broncos' dismal NRL season, Haas was happy to savour a rare win.

But despite being one of the Broncos fan favourites, Haas fully expects to be heckled when he dons a Blues jersey in the series decider in front of his usual "home" crowd.

"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."

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Players cleared for Origin decider

Haas has been cleared to play in the decider after he and boyhood rival Tino Fa'asuamaleaui came to blows in a fiery incident that saw both men sin-binned midway through the second half of Game II.

The NSW prop has personally apologised to Fa'asuamaleaui for bringing the biff back to Origin but still expects to be Queensland's Public Enemy No.1 in next week's series decider.

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."

Pictured here, the Origin II brawl that saw a player from each side sin-binned.
NSW and QLD both lost a player to the bin after a second half punch-up. Pic: Getty

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."

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