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Defiant Payne Haas says he didn’t deserve ban for bust up with Brisbane Broncos teammate Albert Kelly


Brisbane and NSW enforcer Payne Haas insists he has learnt valuable lessons from his bust-up with Broncos teammate Albert Kelly, but maintains he didn’t deserve a suspension for their altercation in March.

Haas missed a week and was fined $10,000 after he and Kelly were seen in a heated push-and-shove outside a Sydney hotel. He accepted the ruling and said he knows he must adhere to higher behavioural standards but suggested a ban was on the harsh side.

“I was a bit gutted to get suspended,” Haas said. “I felt like I let down the team and all the coaches. I just wanted to make it up to them.

“I did stuff up a bit, but I felt like I wasn’t worthy of getting suspended, I felt like I didn’t do too much wrong. But, obviously, I’m in the public eye and I can’t be doing that sort of stuff. I need to handle those situations better, so I’ve learned my lesson there.”

Haas did more than make it up to the Broncos with another powerful performance for his club, this time in Friday night’s win against the Bulldogs.

He left the field after seven minutes with a shoulder injury, had it needled, then returned to rattle off 254m and 39 tackles in the 34-14 victory.

Payne Haas returned from a one-match suspension in Broncos’ win over the Bulldogs on Friday night.

Payne Haas returned from a one-match suspension in Broncos’ win over the Bulldogs on Friday night.Credit:Getty

It was the kind of effort that bolstered his claim to being the premier front rower in the NRL and should he stay fit – and refrain from off-field indiscretions – Haas will be a walk-up start for NSW in the State of Origin series.

He may have company from Red Hill if Kotoni Staggs continues his return to form after a sluggish start to the year. With Latrell Mitchell injured, a centre vacancy has appeared, with Staggs and red-hot Sharks big man Siosifa Talakai two of the leading contenders.



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