Storm rout fuel for Haas’ finals push
Brisbane enforcer Payne Haas says he can still get better as the Broncos ramp up their intensity in their quest for a top-eight finish.
The 19-year-old powerhouse has averaged 172 running metres and made 64 tackle busts so far this season as he continues to spearhead the Broncos' monster forward pack.
The recently re-signed Broncos bruiser also showed his worth last Thursday night in a 216m, seven-tackle break effort to help his side snatch a crucial win over the Cowboys in Townsville.
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With just four games remaining in the regular season, the eighth-placed Broncos are vying with at least five other clubs to cling to a top-eight finish.
Ahead of Friday night's clash with a fired-up Penrith side at Suncorp Stadium, Haas revealed the club had been taught a few lessons from ladder-leaders Melbourne Storm a fortnight ago.
"The week against the Storm we let in 40 points and 10 linebreaks or something," Haas said.
"Our defence was key last week (against the Cowboys) and defence is always key in a game of footy.
"If your defence goes well, you're always going to win games and that's a big key this Friday.
"That week (against Melbourne) I missed four tackles and I had to work on my tackling.
"This week I have to work on a bit more stuff. Every week I'm trying to learn and try and improve every week."
The Broncos came under heavy scrutiny for their poor attacking options against North Queensland, with rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns left questioning the cohesion of halves pairing Jake Turpin and Darius Boyd.
Boyd, the club's captain, finished last week's match with one run for two metres.
Coach Anthony Seibold said after the match that their attacking plays had been a bit "frantic" at times.
Haas said there had been a lack of communication on the field.
"Defensively we went well but just our attack near the line was a bit frantic so we're just working on that this week," he said.
"It was just a flow-on of everything.
"We had one half, one dominant half, and he calls out but we just weren't relaying so it's a flow of everything.
"We just have to pick up our talk and relay calls and we'll be fine for Friday."
Rising Broncos star Patrick Carrigan said the club was going to have to lift the intensity in the last month of football.
"Each and every week, everyone's starting to get a bit more desperate," Carrigan said.
"Penrith beat Cronulla, the Bulldogs happened to get the Tigers, so those last couple of spots, even the top four teams on the weekend, you've got to keep going to another level.
"Melbourne showed us where we're at in the competition and I think for us, we're building.
"Hopefully we keep this run going until October.
"I think it's our job in the next couple of weeks to repay (the fans') faith and give them something to cheer about."