Payne Haas put down a marker for his own season and sent a warning to the rest of the NRL in the Broncos 28-22 trial loss to the Titans that he is far from content to rest on last year’s stellar season.
By half-time the 20-year-old had racked up the sort of numbers many props would be happy with for an entire match with 151 metres and 20 tackles.
What Haas’s display, and the overall performance of his fellow forwards showed, is that he can’t carry the rest of his teammates on his back with Matt Lodge out indefinitely with a partially torn ACL.
At 119kg Haas has size on his side but the feature of his running game was his speed and mobility.
The Broncos led 16-nil after 23 minutes largely on the back of his dynamic surges.
When he came off in the 56th minute Haas had barely added to his half-time stats at all as the Titans ran rampant with the ball in hand as the Broncos fell off tackles and made fundamental errors.
Brisbane's stand-in captain Pat Carrigan was outstanding with 165 running metres and 36 tackles but the bench failed to provide punch.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold, who was effusive in his praise of Carrigan, admitted “Payne can’t do it all himself”.
Match Highlights: Broncos v Titans
"Payne was really strong. I liked how physical we were on both sides of the footy in the first 30 minutes and Payne led the way there," Seibold said.
"From an attacking point of view he carried the ball really strongly and got some quick play the balls."
Injured Broncos captain Alex Glenn was blown away by Haas’s performance who he said stepped up another level in the absence of Lodge.
Glenn said he wouldn’t be surprised if Haas clocks up a 300m game at some stage this season.
"I wouldn’t put it past him. You saw what he produced in his rookie season and it is only going to go up from here," he said.
Seibold was impressed with the work of Tom Flegler early in the match but the performance of the bench has given him some questions to answer ahead of round one.
"We certainly need more from our bench there is no doubt that," Seibold added.
"I think there were some players who came off the bench who learned some lessons."
The halves combination of Anthony Milford and Brodie Croft looked sharp early with Milford laying on a try for Flegler and Croft combining well on the right side with Kotoni Staggs and Xavier Coates.
The try of the night for the Broncos came early on when Coates flew for the right cormer and planted the ball down one-handed in freakish fashion.
The teenager is in a battle with Jamayne Isaako for the right wing position in round one against the Cowboys and may have edged his nose in front.
Seibold said Jack Bird, who came off concussed after a high hit by Sam Lisone, was outstanding at fullback and would be right for round one after going through the usual protocols.