Cowboys clash is season defining: Hayne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys clash is season defining: Hayne

By Tom Wald 30/04/2009 02:07:39 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta flyer Jarryd Hayne believes the winds of change at the embattled Eels can breathe fresh life into their NRL campaign in Friday night's clash against North Queensland.

Hayne says the in-fighting that led to rebel group 3P seizing control of the club's board on Sunday has been a niggling distraction for the players.

But with the controversial board elections done and dusted, he said it was time for the Eels to put all their collective energy into on-field matters starting with the home match against the in-form Cowboys.

"There was a bit of friction there between 3P and the board but that is all sorted out," he said.

"Hopefully we can show on the field that it has all settled down and that we are moving forward."

The second-last Eels (2-5) are trying to snap a five-match losing streak against a Cowboys unit that has rounded up Cronulla and Manly in the past fortnight.

Hayne said the match could be season-defining.

"This is going to be a massive game for us and I think if we don't realise it yet this could be a real season turner for us - whether we win or lose," he said.

Hayne has looked more at ease in his return to the centres following the early season experiment at five-eight.

"The halves are going well at the moment they have only been there for the past few weeks but you have to give them time to find their groove," he said.

"It is been a case of so close and yet so far (this season)."

He believed 20-year-old Kris Keating was on the verge of nailing down the No.7 jumper and forming a lethal combination with five-eighth Feleti Mateo.

"Keats was a lock, five-eight, now he is a halfback, five-eight it is something he is not familiar with but he is looking good there," Hayne said.

"The main thing is how he can run the ball to the line and the big thing he just has to improve on is when to pass and when not to pass.

"That is the main issue but I think he is doing well."

Hayne believed the Eels would benefit during the representative season from Nathan Hindmarsh being overlooked for NSW duties and Nathan Cayless stepping down from New Zealand Test duties.

"Hopefully with less disruptions, that will really work out well for us," he said.

Cowboys winger John Williams has reclaimed his spot from Shannon Hegarty after being stood down for missing a recovery session two weeks ago.

Hindmarsh will miss the game for the Eels through suspension with Joe Galuvao brought into the starting side.

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