-NEWS- Fitler: Haas and Lodge need to fire up

McHunt

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Badel in the Courier Mail:

NSW coach Brad Fitler weighed in on the two Broncos' forwards eyeing NSW Origin jumpers this year. Lodge was on the verge of call-up last year, but was usurped by teammate Haas making his debut after only ten games. Haas was named in an extended NSW squad in December for a pre-season camp, but Lodge’s omission is a sign Fittler wants more impact from the Broncos’ pack leader.

Fitler, who also came from the same Penrith junior-development system as Lodge, said:

“Payne and Lodge need to drive the Broncos. It’s something I didn’t really see last year – the Broncos as a team didn’t seem like a unit. Individually, they (Lodge and Haas) can have some great games but you need to get your team to win. They are only young and it’s a big ask for them at the moment, but Lodge and Haas have to lead the way and rally their team. Brisbane’s forwards have a big job this season. They have a lot of young guys in that squad. Alex Glenn is the new captain and he is going to need some help. There were some good individual efforts from the Broncos last year but as a team they didn’t look fantastic too often.”

“Pressure hurt the Broncos last year, so it will be interesting to see what their coach (Seibold) does this year. Everyone is saying the Broncos will go great, but someone has to miss the finals, someone has to come in the bottom eight. Lodge offers a lot more than most props. He can play really big minutes and the thing I like about Matt is that he can pass the ball, he has a lot of footy in him. I watched him as a kid coming through and he is like a five-eighth in a front-rower’s body. He is a special talent. It’s just about putting it all together.”

Meanwhile, former Queensland lock Billy Moore said:

“I think Matt should be relieved not to have the captaincy. Unfortunately his past cannot be totally erased, so he would have been in a compromised position if something went wrong for him as captain. It’s best that Matt does his talking with his actions. I want Lodge to be the enforcer and the intimidator and if he did that as captain, it would have reminded people of what he did in New York. If Lodge doesn’t play with aggression, he is of no value. He needs to be like David Klemmer and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves – if he tries to curtail that natural aggression, it will let himself and the Broncos down.”

McHunt
 
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Dazza 92

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he makes some good points broadly....plus as NSW coach he doesn't want to laud it on Haas...make him think all he has to do to get another Origin jumper is to turn up for 12 rounds....he wants both of them to know they have to earn it..

This entire roster needs to lift every game this season...no excuses and it starts with the front row. Lets hope the young guys right behind these 2 can keep the pressure on with their own performances....looking at you Flegs..!
 

I bleed Maroon

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We're sadly gonna have to accept that one or both of these guys are gonna be running out for NSW for the rest of their careers. I just hope they don't suffer some terrible injury while wearing the Blue. Now that would be nauseating.
 

Thelmus

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It would be better of fitter to mention no names at all and infer the same thing. As a teenager Haas is already one of the players of his generation. I think it easily possible (and at this stage likely) , he will be THE player of his generation at the end of it.
Time will tell, but I can't remember a player with this much potential since the coal train, but with a lot more discipline.
 
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Big Pete

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I would say he's the brightest prospect since Taumalolo who a lot of judges had pegged as the forward of the generation. However, I could see Taylor being the immediate comparison since it took Taumalolo until he was 23 to really set himself a part whereas Taylor at 19 was already establishing himself as one of the most destructive players in the competition. By 21, he would have easily been in the Top 5 alongside Hayne, Inglis, Soward etc.
 

Thelmus

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I would say he's the brightest prospect since Taumalolo who a lot of judges had pegged as the forward of the generation. However, I could see Taylor being the immediate comparison since it took Taumalolo until he was 23 to really set himself a part whereas Taylor at 19 was already establishing himself as one of the most destructive players in the competition. By 21, he would have easily been in the Top 5 alongside Hayne, Inglis, Soward etc.
I'm not saying its a like for like thing with Taylor as they are very different in skills. I don't I've seen a player like Taylor, just oozing ability, seemingly without trying.
Haas on the other hand is a natural athlete with an incredible work ethic (especially for someone so young).
The scary prospect is that burns out early from the intensity he gives himself to. That could be either from a stress injury, or mental problems dealing with someone with his ability might have to whilst still being very young.
I think he's showing all the right signs though that he will last, but you never can tell completely.
 

Thelmus

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I would tell them to keep playing as they are. They are our two most consistent players and we've rarely had a problem in the front row since they started.
Our problems have been in 2nd row, centre and wing in defence, and the spine in attack.
The only time our forwards have been dominated has been when the squad was completely flogged, again from weak defence out wide.
If we want someone to hit hard to inspire the team, it would best to let them develop it when the team has an otherwise solid line. Otherwise we'll have a TPJ like situation where we get big hits, missed tackles and the occasional grasping at nothing.
Gillet used to hit hard, as did Teo because they were supremely confident in their application of it and had developed their technique around reliable inside and outside partners.
It meant even when they had poor assistance around them, they knew how to time them.
Do we really want our two most important forwards learning that and getting split up the middle or suspended?
 

1910

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I would say he's the brightest prospect since Taumalolo who a lot of judges had pegged as the forward of the generation. However, I could see Taylor being the immediate comparison since it took Taumalolo until he was 23 to really set himself a part whereas Taylor at 19 was already establishing himself as one of the most destructive players in the competition. By 21, he would have easily been in the Top 5 alongside Hayne, Inglis, Soward etc.
Yep that's the comparison I think of and made but I still think Haas comes out on top at a similar age. It was interesting to hear Seibold say a few weeks ago they are working on an off-load for Payne. This was my opinion in April 2018 and I don't think I have changed at all.

I thought of Taylor v Haas last night. So I pulled out a few DVD’s of Taylor playing for Toowoomba and compared them over Haas’ seven ISC games.

Taylor was 17 years old and Haas is 18 so they were similar experiences levels and age.
Taylor would do freakishly skilful things, drift across the field and throw cut out passes, chip kick over a fullback after he made a bust and carry the ball in one hand. That was all just the one game I watched. It wasn’t sustainable though- you can’t do that for 12 years and have a consistent career. It was great to watch and the excitement over him was off the charts because really what prop does that?

Haas; and I have commented several times on this over the last seven weeks it's a huge stand out for me, is no risk football. Normally when a guy comes into ISC he over plays his hand a bit trying to impress with an off-load or a try pushing 10 people out of the way. Haas hasn’t taken a single risk in seven games.

Haas has off-loaded 8 times in seven games and four of those were in one game against Souths. He’s missed two tackles in seven games and made 161. He has made 33 tackle busts from 91 hit ups and av 137m. He’s a great support player surprisingly- he always trials along supporting guys.

He's played against the best pack in the Bears- and in a losing side down a man kept plugging. He's played in pouring rain with Carney directing guys at him and he hasn't missed a tackle.

So he runs hard, makes his tackles and supports up the middle. You can keep doing that for 13 years. I have been impressed by his discipline to not take risks more so than Taylor ability to take risks.
 

Morkel

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If Haas and Lodge need to drag the Broncos to wins, why do NSW choose players like Klemmer? Has pretty much always played for bottom 8 teams. Or Saifiti, who plays for a shit team and doesn't even stand out?

There was not much more Lodge or Haas could have done, short of defending on the edges as well as in the middle (simultaneously ), or literally wrapped their arms around Oates so he couldn't drop the ball.
 

Marty Deutschmann

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If Haas and Lodge need to drag the Broncos to wins, why do NSW choose players like Klemmer? Has pretty much always played for bottom 8 teams. Or Saifiti, who plays for a shit team and doesn't even stand out?

There was not much more Lodge or Haas could have done, short of defending on the edges as well as in the middle (simultaneously ), or literally wrapped their arms around Oates so he couldn't drop the ball.
Valid points
 

kooly87

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If Haas and Lodge need to drag the Broncos to wins, why do NSW choose players like Klemmer? Has pretty much always played for bottom 8 teams. Or Saifiti, who plays for a shit team and doesn't even stand out?

There was not much more Lodge or Haas could have done, short of defending on the edges as well as in the middle (simultaneously ), or literally wrapped their arms around Oates so he couldn't drop the ball.
Lodge was close to our best player last year, he was probably our second best Forward and the only reason he wasn't on top is because his mate Haas produced one of the most stunning rookie seasons in recent memory.

Obviously with Fittler there is an underlying motive as he's clearly trying to fire them up for Origin time, but realistically his comments just make him sound uninformed. Hardly a single player in the NRL worked harder than Payne Haas in 2019.
 
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Morkel

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Lodge was close to our best player last year, he was probably our second best Forward and the only reason he wasn't on top is because his mate Haas produced one of the most stunning rookie seasons in recent memory.

Obviously with Fittler there is an underlying motive as he's clearly trying to fire them up for Origin time, but realistically his comments just make him sound uninformed. Hardly a single player in the NRL worked harder than Payne Haas in 2019.
Agree. I also agree with what was said earlier - that their roles in Origin won't be starting, it'll be off the bench. Hence why he wants them to show they can be impact players and not just big-minute solid middles.

In my view, that will be of detriment to how they are best utilised, and not what the Broncos need of them. So Fittler can go shove it. If he wants to select them, great, but I don't want the Broncos to compromise at all how they're being used.
 

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