Prop Payne Haas has won a historic third consecutive Paul Morgan Medal as the Brisbane Broncos’ Player Of The Year.
At just 21 years of age, Haas joins legends Darren Lockyer, Corey Parker and Petero Civoniceva as three-time winners of the club’s most prestigious on-field award.
Only Allan Langer has won the medal more times. The diminutive halfback took out the award five times, including four in a row from 1993-96.
Haas becomes the only Bronco since Langer to win the Paul Morgan Medal for three consecutive seasons.
The front rower’s incredible 2021 season, which saw him play three State Of Origins for the Blues, also earned him the coveted Broncos Players’ Player Award for a third year running, as well as the Best Forward Award for a second-straight season.
His 20 appearances for the Broncos in 2021 produced 3,361 running metres (168m average from 15 hit-ups per game); 1,485 post-contact metres (the 3rd highest in the NRL); 667 tackles at 98 per cent efficiency; and 68 tackle breaks.
But it was often the extra efforts and little things he did in games – bobbing up where no front rower had a right to be to produce a try-saving play – that stood him apart even more.
One such effort was his 50-metre sprint back against the run of play in the 80th minute of the Round 16 game against the Sharks to tap a dangerous bouncing ball over the dead ball line and secure the win for his team – which was recognised in Haas also claiming the 2021 Play Of The Year Award.
Earlier, emerging centre Herbie Farnworth was rewarded for a breakout season with his first Best Back Award at the Broncos
The 21-year-old kicked on from his Rookie Of The Year Award in 2020 to produce some exciting football in 2021 across 20 appearances in the NRL which saw him average 145 running metres per game, as well as 56 tackles breaks, 11 line breaks, seven try assists and three tries.
The Most Consistent Award was won by hooker Jake Turpin who racked up more than 900 tackle across his 22 games in his first full season as a starting player in the NRL.
Turpin also captained the team while Alex Glenn was injured and was a tireless worker with extras on the training paddock and in the gym.
Rookie Of The Year went to Kobe Hetherington who has had a brilliant start to his career after making his NRL debut in the huge Round 11 upset win over the Sydney Roosters at the SCG.
The 22-year-old Queenslander made 14 appearances and had locked down a starting position at lock by the end of the season, making a mark with his work ethic, solid defence and ability to threaten the line, scoring three tries and going close on a number of other occasions.
The gala evening also saw a final farewell to a number of players, including long-time servants captain Alex Glenn, Anthony Milford, Ben Te’o, and Karmichael Hunt – who played 659 games of NRL for the Broncos between them.
There were two Clubperson Of The Year recipients in 2021 – Sponsorship & Game Day Manager Eloise Kelly and Football Head Of Performance Dave Ballard. Both Kelly and Ballard went above and beyond in their roles during the Covid-impacted season, acting as incredible role models of the club’s values and culture.
Two new Broncos Life Members were also announced, acknowledging their decades of hard work, commitment and passion – Company Secretary & Salary Cap Manager Louise Lanigan, and CEO Executive Assistant Kath Bennett.
Cyril Connell Award - Rookie of the Year Kobe HETHERINGTON
Kevin Walters Award - Most Consistent Jake TURPIN
Allan Langer Award - Best Back Herbie FARNWORTH
Shane Webcke Award - Best Forward Payne HAAS
Wally Lewis Award - Play of the Year Payne HAAS Rd16 v Sharks (79th min)
Clubperson of the Year Eloise KELLY & Dave BALLARD
Gary Balkin Award - Players' Player Payne HAAS
Paul Morgan Medal - Player of the Year Payne HAAS