Hayne learning to grow up fast in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne learning to grow up fast in NRL

By Ian McCullough 10/06/2009 07:56:54 PM Comments (0)

After four seasons of first grade action and three successive State of Origin series, Jarryd Hayne says he feels the oldest 21-year-old in the NRL.

Hayne, who has been in breathtaking form this season for Parramatta and was NSW's best player in the Blues' 28-18 defeat in the State of Origin opener in Melbourne last week, admitted he has been forced to grow up fast ever since his debut against Penrith in 2006.

After a difficult year on and off the field in 2008, Hayne admitted the pressure of being the team's 'go to' man had got to him, but now he is relishing the responsibility in a youthful Eels and Origin backline.

"It has been hard being only 21 and being a regular in the team and having to be on my A-game every week, it's a bit daunting," Hayne told AAP.

"But it is a task I am happy to take and have that sort of influence on the team."

A successful stint with Fiji in the Rugby League World Cup last year revitalised Hayne's love for the game and put a smile back on his face and he hasn't looked back.

"It was just time for me to step up, it was put on me last year but I was just way too young," he said.

"I was 20 years old in only my third year of footy in first grade and I was still coming to terms with the week-in week-out of playing and the toll it takes on the body.

"But this season I have stepped up and I have taken it upon myself to wake up to myself and grow up.

"There were weeks there last season where I wasn't playing good and I wasn't as hard on myself.

"Now I have realised I need to lead on the field in the same way that Nathan Cayless and Nathan Hindmarsh do."

Hayne is confident the Blues can beat Queensland in the second Origin clash on June 24 and said the 'Baby Blues' were far from daunted about facing a fearsome Maroons team once again.

However, he warned they cannot allow their intensity to drop in the way it did after Hayne's apparent early try in Origin I was ruled out by video referee Bill Harrigan.

"You saw with my disallowed try how the whole momentum of the game just swung so fast, it's just rapid-fire and something that doesn't happen in the NRL too much and it can hurt your confidence," he said.

"But the way we played second half I think showed what we can do, and we must start the second game the way we finished the first."

Hayne also added his name to calls for Hindmarsh to get an Origin recall and said he could have the same effect on the team as Greg Inglis or Darren Lockyer do for Queensland.

"The selectors haven't picked him ... but he is playing some great footy ... but he does it all the time," Hayne said.

"It's the thing about Hindy ... Inglis and Lockyer, can do certain things and you get Nathan Hindmarsh.

"The tackle he made on Kurt Gidley against Newcastle on Sunday helped us win the game, it was something only Hindy could have done.

"No other second row would be chasing as hard as he was ... that is the unique thing about him, his desperation and his defence is amazing."

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