The Broncos winger chased down Dane Gagai with only centimetres to spare.
Payne Lucky Hass was one of Brisbane’s best Broncos in 2020. At 20 years of age, the 194-centimetre, 119-kilogram barnstorming prop forward is an emerging force in the NRL.
A Keebra Park prodigy, Payne debuted against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on 26 April 2018 aged 18.
This year Payne routinely delivered an 80-minute performance and continually bent back the opposition with strong running, post-contact metres and a cheeky offload to create second-phase plays. He has a great swerve, big fend and a very fast play the ball for a big man.
Already accolades for the humble forward have come from coaches, captains, teammates, commentators, fans and general enthusiasts.
Gus Gould once labelled the young prop forward as “bulletproof” because of the way he plays in his position.
This year Haas will represent New South Wales again after debuting as a 19-year-old in 2019.
‘Payne in the Hass’, as his opponents have affectionately named him, is a real sensation. He is sometimes referred to as the VO2 Max King – his oxygen uptake per breath is equivalent to endurance athletes like marathon runners and boxers.
In the 2020 NRL season Haas has run an average of 185 metres per game. He frequently averages more running metres per game than top NRL props Josh Papalii, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jesse Bromwich and Reagan Campbell-Gillard. As he matures there is a strong possibility he could join the 300-metre club with the likes of North Queensland’s Jason Taumalolo.
Despite Brisbane’s poor performance this season, finishing dead last on the ladder, Haas has been outstanding. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, playing in the bubble and the devastation of losing his best mate and brother he has vowed to stay strong to the club, his family and his beliefs.
Speaking about the Broncos’ poor season and their inexperienced team, Haas said, “Age doesn’t matter … we’re here to a job, youth is no excuse and whoever steps up for the team has to do the job”.
Take a bow, Payne Lucky Hass. You’re a star.