SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Payne Haas arrives at a New South Wales Blues State of Origin squad Media Opportunity at Crowne Plaza Coogee on May 30, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

All the talk north of the border is revolving around the upcoming 'Battle for Brisbane' as the Broncos prepare to meet the Dolphins for the first time on Friday night.

Not even the most clued on NRL pundit would've tipped Brisbane and the 'Phins to be the competition's only two teams to go 3-0, especially after facing Penrith and the Roosters in their opening games respectively.

A new rivalry set to explode at Suncorp Stadium, however if it wasn't for the Dolphins' head coach, Brisbane never would've secured arguably their greatest current prospect in Payne Haas.

The New South Welshman debuted for the Broncos in 2018, and played State of Origin football after just ten first-grade games, however if it wasn't for Wayne Bennett, Haas may never have pulled on a Brisbane jersey.

"I was legit about to sign the contract that was on the table at the Storm," Haas told AAP.

"Wayne called me at the last minute and made the last pitch to me. Thanks to Wayne I am at Brisbane. I haven't looked back since.

"When he was here he gave me my (NRL) debut. I have got lots of respect for Wayne.

"He was the reason I came to the Broncos. He is a good person. I can't wait to verse him next week."

Bennett only got to coach Haas for three games before a season-ending shoulder injury in 2018, months before the Broncos terminated their veteran coach in favour of Anthony Seibold, but it didn't stop the 73-year-old from making a big impact on the prop.

The coach re-signed the then-18-year-old front-rower on a monumental deal, tying him to the club until the end of 2024, and essentially assuring Brisbane of a strong forward pack as long as Haas featured in it.

His sudden departure didn't take away the lessons learnt by Haas.

"Never get ahead of yourself, always train hard and never think that you are a big shot. He always knew how to humble you," Haas continued.

"I just wanted to stay (at the Broncos) for Wayne but that's done now. Now I'm enjoying Kev."

While Tyson Gamble and Selwyn Cobbo have taken their respective shots at Walters via podcasts, Haas couldn't disagree more.

"I've got nothing but love for Kev. He's a real good coach and really cares for us," Haas said.

"He has been really good for me, especially when I've had a few things going on. He is always texting me and calling me."

Only one of the sides can finish next weekend 4-0, as Brisbane look to become the first team to ever defeat the Dolphins, while the NRL's newest franchise will seek victory in their first official clash against another Queensland club.


Comments are closed.