Kevin Walters faces first big test as an NRL coach
Kevin Walters faces first big test as an NRL coach

Big-talking Walters faces first major test

Payne Haas' short term future has become Kevin Walters first major challenge in what shapes as a litmus test for his NRL coaching tenure.

The 21-year-old Haas was charged with offensive language and intimidating police, before being released, following an alleged incident with police at Tweed Heads on Saturday night.

It wasn't the first time the 119kg prop has been involved with controversy - having been fined $20,000 and suspended for the opening four games in 2019 for failing to comply with the NRL Integrity Unit.

 

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He was also present during David Fifita's arrest in Bali later that year.

The message needs to get through to Haas, an Australian and Origin representative, to smarten up and begin setting an example - not to keep breaking the rules.

 

 

And as Haas approaches his fourth NRL season, and prepares to become a first-time dad, his new head coach shapes as a key person in getting that message through to him.

Don't worry about pre-season recruitment, Walters should turn his focus to emphasising the standards he wants set under his guidance.

As the saying goes, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Walters has trumpeted his ability to repair the culture at Red Hill and now the jovial Brisbane great has the chance to guide his players through the latest controversy.

 

 

If Brisbane are 50-1 odds to win the 2021 NRL Premiership, it would no doubt blow out much more without Haas on the field.

However, the new head coach has to take some sort of stance against the club's latest off-field incident.

The club simply can't allow things to spiral out of control as they did last year - when players became embroiled in bikies, COVID bubble breaches and bruising losses.

Originally published as Big-talking Walters faces first major test


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