NSW Police launch probe into alleged punch-up between Broncos teammates Payne Haas and Albert Kelly
New South Wales Police have reportedly launched an investigation into a brawl between Brisbane Broncos teammates Payne Haas and Albert Kelly.
According to Nine newsNSW police confirmed on Monday that they had opened an investigation into the fight, while the Broncos and the NRL Integrity Unit spoke to both players.
On Sunday, News Corp. outlets released a video showing Haas waving his fist at Kelly. The The alleged altercation took place on March 20, the day before Kelly turned 31 and just hours after the Broncos defeated Canterbury 16-10 in Sydney in Round 2 of the NRL season.
A still from the footage that emerged on Sunday is said to show Payne Haas (left) swearing and hitting teammate Albert Kelly
Haas – a devout Muslim who observes Ramadan – has reportedly told club bosses that he did not drink alcohol that night.
Initially, the location of the alleged blockage was unknown, but that became apparent Monday morning.
“It was in the foyer of the hotel where they were staying,” journalist Phil Rothfield said Big sports breakfast†
“It was after their second round (game against) the Bulldogs, they were in Sydney and had a few beers after the game, there was a dispute between the pair.
Haas’ NRL future is uncertain, with the prop exploring options that would make him the highest-paid center forward in the game
“The problem for the Broncos is that it has gone public and the other problem is that Payne Haas should behave better than in that video. To be rough, punch a little halfback.
In 2019, he was banned from four games and fined $20,000 for failing to cooperate with an integrity unit investigation.
“Last year he behaved disgracefully and was charged with abusive language and intimidating the police in Tweed Head. He was fined $50,000 and suspended for three games by the NRL.
“I wonder if there’s a bigger problem here and if Payne Haas wants to be in the Broncos at all or if he wants to play for another club (because) he doesn’t seem happy there.”
Kelly injured his foot in the Broncos’ loss to the Warriors on Sunday and could miss a lot of time, leaving Brisbane with a half-crisis
Brisbane legend Steve Renouf, speaking on 4BC radio on Monday, acknowledged that the incident was not a good thing for the Broncos and called on the club to put Haas and Payne down.
“We had a few fights – fights – within the playgroup as individuals,” he said.
“But the most important thing is for the guys to understand that there are cell phones with cameras on them these days.
“It’s not a great look. It’s a different era […] I think they probably need to pull a bit.
Haas has fouled the NRL Integrity Unit twice in the past two seasons
Footage shows Haas calling Kelly a “f***ing c***” before hitting him with his left fist.
Kelly is said to have stepped on Haas’ foot before asking his teammate, “Why should I step on your shoes?”
The altercation comes at a delicate time for the Red Hill club, who have struggled since their win against Canterbury.
Last week, the Broncos suffered a 38-12 loss to the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, followed by a 20-6 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.
The brawl allegedly took place the day before Kelly turned 31
Haas has already been suspended twice by the NRL’s Integrity Unit for drunkenness.
After failing to cooperate fully with the NRL Integrity Unit in an investigation into an off-field incident involving family members, the Broncos fined him $20,000 and suspended him for four games in 2020.
Brisbane is no stranger to clashes between teammates.
Prop Tom Flegler left Jordan Riki with stitches in his face last September when he punched him after a Mad Monday party got out of hand.
Former Brisbane prop Matt Lodge punched ex-Bronco Jack Bird multiple times when another team bonding session spiraled out of control in 2019.