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Panthers wary of their Origin teammate

Penrith duo Liam Martin and Brian To’o have stood alongside Payne Haas for the Westpac NSW Blues, but they know they will have to shut down the Brisbane Broncos powerhouse if the Panthers are to have any chance of pulling off a three-peat in the NRL Grand Final.

The Panthers will be hoping to make it three consecutive premierships when they take the field at Accor Stadium on Sunday night, while the Broncos will be searching for their first title since 2006.  

Haas has been a standout for the Broncos this season after averaging 189 running metres per game, including 54 post contact, as well as making 107 tackle breaks, 47 offloads and an impressive 625 tackles.

He was named the Dally M Prop of the Year this week alongside Warriors Addin Fonua-Blake.

Having played alongside Haas for the Blues in this year’s Ampol State of Origin series, Martin and To’o admitted that stopping his go-forward will be no easy feat.

“Payne is an incredible player. What he has done over the years, he is an absolute freak,” Martin said.

“This has been one of his best seasons which is saying something.

“He will be a key part of their success on the weekend so we will just need to match him.

“He is too big and too strong; we will need to band together as a team to shut him out of the game.”

To’o said that the Panthers pack, spearheaded by James Fisher-Harris and Moses Leota, will have their hands full trying to contain Haas.

“He is one of their best players,” To’o told

“He is a big human, and he has done a lot for his team this year.

“He has been dominant up the middle this season, I’m sure he has something special in store for (James) Fisher-Harris and (Moses) Leota.”


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