The Brisbane Broncos have pulled off an epic comeback over the Gold Coast Titans in the shadow of the Payne Haas contract drama.

The Brisbane Broncos are a completely different beast in 2022.

In 2021, news of their biggest star looking to leave the club would have left the side in a shame spiral, especially when missing skipper and halfback Adam Reynolds and down 24-4 to the Gold Coast Titans at halftime.

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But Kevin Walters charges have pulled off the comeback of the season to defeat the Titans 35-24, scoring three tries in just five minutes to romp home over the top of the Gold Coast.

The Broncos were listless in the first half and were put to the sword but the Titans who took advantage of a controversial early sin bin of Jordan Riki, while also scoring through David Fifita when reduced to 11 men themselves.

It appeared that a Broncos side without its leader in Reynolds and with its enforcer in Payne Haas getting booed by fans before the game and as he took the first hit up of the match might not be able to summon a comeback.

But this is not the 2021 Broncos.

A stunning comeback saw the Broncos bounce back to celebrate a sixth straight win and move into the top four, although the Sharks and Eels both have a chance to move ahead during the remainder of the round.

It was another grim finish for the Titans who become the first team in the history of the competition to give up two 20-point leads in a season.

What was even more remarkable was that it was achieved in the wake of the Haas drama.

Haas sent shockwaves through the NRL when he requested a release from the Broncos after asking for a contract upgrade to take him into the million dollar player tier.

He has been slammed including by Broncos great Corey Parker, who labelled him “selfish” and asked the club to release him immediately.

It was something which didn’t sit well with Paul Vautin on Channel 9.

“I wish they’d stop booing Payne Haas,” Vautin said on Nine’s coverage.

“I mean, honestly. He and his team made a big mistake, but you know, he’s playing his heart out for you, fans. Just drop off.”

Johnathan Thurston also said the barbs would have hurt Haas deeply.

“I think he’d be hurting,” Thurston said.

“He’ll come out and say, ‘It doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t bother me’, but when you take pride in your performance and pride in what you do I think that’s going to hurt you.”

After the match, Channel 9’s Darren Lockyer interviewed Haas and he admitted it took him aback.

Haas said that at halftime they were being a bit too frantic and calmed down in the second half, allowing the side’s attack to flow.

The boos didn’t stop for Haas however as he was jeered as he returned to the field in the 51st minute.

“It’s been tough, I’m usually not one to get rattled but when I heard the boos come out when I got the ball it rattled me a little bit,” Haas said. “But I composed myself, just stayed in the game and did my job for the team.”

In his post-match press conference, Walters said he was surprised by the Haas news and believed the Broncos and Haas could come to a deal.

“I’m really confident we can sit down with Payne’s management and sort something out- we won’t be releasing him,” Walters said,

He added: “We don’t want to lose the best prop in the game.”

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