Powerhouse prop Payne Haas showed exactly why he is being lined up for the richest deal in Red Hill history in yet another debilitating Broncos loss.
If only more of his teammates would follow him, coach Kevin Walters lamented after a 42-24 loss to Wests Tigers.
Not for the first time this season, Haas stood head and shoulders above the rest of Walters's maroon and gold cohort, with the coach's assessment of Brisbane's defence as "mentally soft" also made more than once in 2021.
Backing up from his mile-a-minute Origin III effort for NSW on Wednesday, Haas was peerless across 65 minutes against the Tigers, finishing with 148 running metres, 41 tackles and a sublime offload for Tom Flegler to score.
Having led from the front in a last-start win over Cronulla, Haas's management and Brisbane went public with talks around a well-deserved upgrade and extension – reportedly to the tune of a "lifetime" $10 million, 10-year deal.
The coach needed more like him after an 18-10 half-time lead evaporated against the Tigers.
"Not as many followed him today, I’ve got to say," Walters said.
Haas busts the defence and offloads to Flegler
"Payne just continues to be one of our best players every week, and that’s why he is the player that he is.
"It’s up to our guys and certainly the coaching staff to support Payne and make sure he’s got more numbers around him than what he did today.
"Obviously we’d be delighted to have him as a long-term player here at the club.
Match Highlights: Broncos v Wests Tigers
“That’s something that [CEO] Dave [Donaghy], [head of football] Ben [Ikin] and those guys will work out, that’s in their lane. The board as well – I’d imagine a deal that long would be something that the board would be involved in.
"I’ll let them worry about that and worry about the coaching side of things."
More presently, the eight tries conceded to one of the NRL's fellow strugglers reinforced Brisbane's chief concerns.
Their 31.9 points conceded a game is more than they leaked last year – their worst defensive season on record.
"Tigers are a good side, certainly with their attack. Most teams in the NRL can score points quickly if you’re not resilient in defence, and we certainly weren’t that today.
Oates slams it down for the first try
"We were good against the Sharks – a lot of our defence is a mental thing. Their effort was good today, I just thought we were a bit soft mentally. When you do that at this level, you always get found out.
"We just had a bad day at this office ... if you’re just a little bit off, you can get caught out. I thought that was the case today – we weren’t very smart today with the ball or without the ball."