Blues enforcer Payne Haas has accused Maroons rival Tino Fa’asuamaleaui of trying to ride his coattails in a spicy post-game sledge following their fiery brawl in Origin II.
The duo were sent to the sin bin for 10-minutes in the second half after they came to blows, but Haas said reports of a rift between the pair since schoolboy footy were wide of the mark.
“I have actually hardly versed him growing up,’’ Haas told The Sydney Morning Herald.
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Punches thrown, biffo returns to Origin!
State of Origin: Payne Haas and Tino Fa’asuamalaeaui were both given their marching orders for letting their fists fly and nearly sparking an all-in Game II brawl.
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“He is a year younger than me. I don’t know where that came from, whether it is his agent trying to ride my coattails or whatever. They can talk all they want.”
However Haas admitted he let emotion get the best of him during the blustery back and forth that saw both sides converge in an all-in melee at ANZ Stadium.
The Blues won the contest easily 34-10, but Haas was disappointed in his actions that could have cost his teammates on the field on another night.
“I was a bit hard on myself when I did come off, that is not really me and it is out of character,’’ Haas said.
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“But that’s Origin. That’s footy.
“I just saw red. It was a bit dumb of me to keep carrying on like that. I should have left it as it was – I just saw red and kept on going.
“It’s out of character for me to lose my cool. I probably put my teammates in a position where they were a bit vulnerable, especially with me coming off and with us only having 12 players. I need to be smarter.’’
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Maroons coach Wayne Bennett was critical of the media for inciting the violence by writing about Haas and Fa’asuamaleaui’s rivalry in the lead-up to the match.
“Headlines like that throw fuel onto the fire … they’re young men, they’re 20, both of them, headlines like that throw fuel onto the fire,” Bennett said.
However Haas denied reading any papers or media in the build-up to Origin II and was more concerned about the repercussions of dealing with his grandma, who is not a fan of violence in any form.
Payne Haas was sent to the sin bin for his role in a brawl with Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.Source:News Corp Australia
“[I haven’t fought on the field] for a long time. My grandma, Soledad, will be getting up me,” Haas said.
“I will wait for her to see what she says on Messenger. She gets scared of that kind of stuff. I think the last time was under-10s. We were losing. I was being a bad sport.’’
"It’s ridiculous, Wayne is kidding himself!"
State of Origin: Paul Kent has slammed Maroons coach Wayne Bennett for insinuating that a story in the Courier-Mail was partly responsible for sparking a brawl between Payne Haas and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Aside from his brain-snap that cost his team a player for 10 minutes, Haas was superb for the Blues running for 157 metres and making 19 tackles without a miss.
Attention now turns to the rivalry between Haas and Fa’asuamaleaui resuming in the decider at Suncorp Stadium in a week’s time.
Originally published as‘Trying to ride my coattails’: Haas burns Maroons brawl rival in post-Origin II sledge
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