Haas stands tall as McGuire adds to injury worries
Wayne Bennett praised the work of the interchange bench for turning the screws in the second half to help steer the Broncos to a 24-20 victory over the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.
But the victory could come at a loss, with Josh McGuire in a moon-boot post-game with a possible Achilles/ankle issue according to Bennett, who also hooked prop Matt Lodge early in the first half for being "off his game."
McGuire left the paddock in the 47th minute after a routine hit-up and failed to return, sparking the emergence of NRL debutant Payne Haas and utility Kodi Nikorima to relish off the back of a 60 per cent possession rate in the second half.
Along with Haas, Korbin Sims and Joe Ofahengaue made inroads during the crunch stages of the clash - each with more than 100 metres in long stints.
"The interchange was good for us tonight. Korbin is a bit older than the other boys but they did their job really well," Bennett said.
"We needed them tonight with those injuries. I knew we could score if we held the ball."
Haas was particularly impressive, churning out 86 metres from nine carries in a 21-minute stint.
"He wasn't bad for a first time," Bennett quipped.
"You've got to get your kids ready at some stage. You've got to start the process. Obviously Payne's going to be an NRL player, hopefully for a long period of time.
"It's just about getting them into the game and how you do that. I try to manage that as well as I can because I don't want them to get ahead of themselves.
"At the same time I want them to handle it as well. He's been in the state league for a while and will play a few weeks on the interchange bench then we'll make another decision on what we should do.."
But that was where it ended for Bennett talking up the boom 18-year-old any further.
"If I start you 60 minutes into a game you could probably do that too," Bennett joked to a reporter.
"It counts when he starts a game, see how many metres he gets then."