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The exchange between Broncos star Payne Haas and captain Alex Glenn was a “changing of the guard” type of moment at Brisbane, respected rugby league commentator Phil Gould says.
Tensions were heightened in the 47th minute of the Broncos’ 26-16 loss to the Warriors when Agnatius Paasi broke through a tackle from Glenn in the middle of the ruck to score under the posts.
The Broncos had led 10-6 before Passi broke through, with his try allowing the Warriors to grab the lead for the first time in the match following the conversion from Chanel Harris-Tavita.
A frustrated Haas was captured admonishing Glenn for the brittle effort in defence leaving the Broncos, amid a six-match losing streak, in a further state of disarray.
Finucane to build the cabin and Haas to knock it down
Haas has just 32 games to his name but has already represented Australia and NSW at the age of 20 and has a huge standing in the game as a rising star.
Glenn, 31, on the other hand, is a New Zealand international with 263 career games and debuted in 2009 under the guidance of Ivan Henjak.
Within the team hierarchy, it’s extremely rare to see someone of Haas’ experience holding the captain of his team accountable in such a way, publicly or privately.
Glenn is eleven years older than Haas and outranks him in every way, yet the young bull felt the need to call out his skipper in front of his teammates for his lack of fortitude in defence.
Such a moment provides a window into the changing power structures within the Broncos playing group, Gould says.
Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ The Final Whistle, the former Penrith general manager of football refused to speculate on what either player said but admitted the moment could be a milestone for the Brisbane team.
“I actually think it’s a good thing,” he said.
“I think what we’re seeing at the Broncos is a young contingent of very talented young players, and there’s an older brigade and there’s a big gap between the two.
“They both sort of lived in different eras and it’s the young blokes trying to hold the older blokes accountable.
“When the young blokes start to find a voice rather than living in the shadow of these people and it’s not the standards they want they’re entitled to say so. That’s being part of a team.
“You give instant feedback, we don’t take it personally. We talk to each other like that on the field, we roll our sleeves up and get in and work together.”
Broncos players were seen crying after the game which was in stark contrast to the scenes after their loss to the Titans, when club greats lashed the team for smiling and laughing following the defeat.
Gould said Haas’ moment with Glenn could be a catalyst for change within the team.
“I would hope it’s a changing of the guard a little bit with the leadership in that club,” added Gould.
“If they’re young, passionate, enthusiastic, they’re doing the right thing and they want to hold players to account, then by all means.”