Hayne, Inu fail to hit Hagan's bar - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne, Inu fail to hit Hagan's bar

By David Beniuk 07/09/2008 11:46:51 AM Comments (0)

Parramatta coach Michael Hagan has admitted star backs Jarryd Hayne and Krisnan Inu failed to meet his expectations in 2008, as the NRL club begins looking at how it can avoid another lost year.

Promising so much after a determined run through last year's finals, when they fell just short to eventual premiers Melbourne in the second-last week, the Eels couldn't get out of second gear this season.

Parramatta were still a slight mathematical chance heading into Saturday night's final round clash with the New Zealand Warriors, but were finally put out of their misery in a 28-6 loss to the Kiwi side.

Hayne, 20, and Inu, 21, both re-signed with the club in the last 12 months amidst much fanfare as the Eels hoped they could quickly mature into backline leaders.

But representative star Hayne never seemed to recover from a frightening pre-season shooting scare, while injury affected Inu after a boom rookie year in 2007.

"I think Jarryd Hayne, Kris Inu, they're going to get better with more experience," Hagan said.

"I think it's been tough for those sorts of players. The expectation on them was very high and they probably haven't lived up to what everyone was expecting this year, including me and some of the players at the club."

Hagan said the early season talk, based on last year's performance, had missed the mark.

"Personally I think it was a bit premature with a few things in mind," he said.

"We didn't have three or four of our better players at the start of the year and I think we struggled at the start of the year for that reason.

"A bloke like (injured centre) Ben Smith, I think we've missed him enormously on the edge and a Timana Tahu (NSW Waratahs) on the other edge. They were two of the form players this time last year for us and had a huge impact on the team defensively.

"And take out (released halfback) Tim Smith after round four I guess in terms of some of the attacking options that you want to run.

"Even a guy like (retired second-rower) Ian Hindmarsh - I think we missed this year, the work that he did in the middle third.

"I think we had our work cut out for us from the start of the year and we just weren't consistent enough."

But Hagan said it was now up to a group of youngsters blooded this year to take the step up in 2009.

"I think a lot of young players have come in this year for the first time and they'll be looking at their first year in thinking how difficult it is to come up with good consistent performances every week," he said.

"That's the challenge I guess for most NRL teams now who've got a mix of senior players and young players coming in, so I think we certainly had our share of those.

"Matt Keating for us was excellent, played every game. Taulima Tautai all but two games. Kris Keating will be a tremendous player down the track. Joel Reddy I thought was one of our real good players this year.

"I think there's a lot to look forward to."

The Eels farewelled another batch of experienced heads on Saturday, including hooker Mark Riddell (Wigan), second-rower Daniel Wagon (French rugby league) and lock Chad Robinson (London Harlequins).

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