Forced to act quickly
BRONCOS coach Wayne Bennett says the club had to secure Payne Haas for the long-term future in a bid to ward off rival suitors.
It was revealed on Wednesday that Brisbane had given the teenage sensation a fiveyear extension beyond 2019, reportedly worth $3.4 million.
The deal makes Haas the highest-paid teenager in history, but some critics have questioned whether it is too much money for the 18-yearold given he has played just three NRL games.
But Bennett said Haas actually settled for less money to stay at Brisbane, with other NRL clubs throwing bigger offers his way.
“It was certainly not as high as what other clubs had offered him,” Bennett said.
“He’s a player in great demand and we see him with a long-term future here.
“The club has a long history of players being happy here and wanting to stay here.
“Football’s not just about how much you get paid, it’s about welfare, happiness, who you play with and we’ve always struck a pretty good balance here.”
Haas, out for the season with a shoulder injury, also decided to stay in Brisbane because of the presence of supercoach Bennett.
The extension for the giant forward is just the first of many signing announcements the Broncos hope to make over the coming months, with the likes of Tevita Pangai Jr, Corey Oates, Jaydn Su’A and Matt Lodge off-contract. The club will lose forward Korbin Sims to the Dragons next season, but Bennett said it was a decision that had to be made to keep Haas around until 2024.
He said they would now turn their attention to their remaining off-contract players.
“I’d love to have kept Korbin … but you put an offer of six years for someone else, we’re going to have to keep making decisions like that,” he said. “They’re not ones that we like but the bottom line is we have to make them otherwise we’ll have a club that’s not anywhere near it’s potential.”
The Broncos yesterday sprung a shock at training, with Darius Boyd running at left centre and Jamayne Isaako at fullback ahead of tonight’s showdown with Penrith.