Tonga to be a pain for Hayne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tonga to be a pain for Hayne

By Wayne Heming 10/07/2009 05:38:32 PM Comments (0)

After tormenting the Wolfman in Origin II, makeshift Maroon winger Willie Tonga has adjusted his radar to focus on NSW dangerman Jarryd Hayne.

Playing out of position at left centre in Sydney, Tonga cleaned up Blues rookie winger David Williams in two ball-jolting tackles to get Queensland off to a flying start.

There's no tougher defensive assignment at the moment than stopping Hayne whose freakish skills have twice dragged NSW back from sizeable deficits.

With Justin Hodges returning from injury, Tonga has kept his place after being switched to the right wing for injured giant Israel Folau - another largely foreign position.

Hayne has been handed a roving commission by NSW coach Craig Bellamy but Tonga doesn't plan to let the slippery Eel out of his sight on Wednesday night.

"They've picked me for a reason and they think I can do the job and that gives me confidence as well," said Tonga, excited about playing outside Justin Hodges.

"The way Jarryd's been playing, he can turn a game like that as we saw in game two.

"He's one of those players where you need to be on your game the whole 80 minutes or he can make you look silly."

Tonga agreed taking on Hayne was a massive assignment made even harder by recalled halfback Brett Kimmorley's tactical kicking game.

"Marking up against Jarryd Hayne and Kimmorley's kicking game, they're both massive challenges, he'll really test me out under the high ball," said Tonga who has big boots to fill.

"I can't get up there as high as him (Folau) but I'm confident under the high ball."

Tonga can't wait to play alongside Hodges who, like Hayne, can be a defensive nightmare.

"It's going to be a big challenge for me playing on the wing, it's not a familiar position for me.

"I played some wing on the weekend (for the Cowboys) but before that it's been quite a while."

Tonga hopes Hodges will create some space for him to cause Hayne some defensive headaches.

"It would be great to see a bit of space outside of Hodgo, and he can create that," he said.

Tonga revealed talk before the second Origin that he would not handle playing left side centre had driven him to prove is critics wrong.

"I heard early in the week that they were asking whether I was up to the challenge on the right side with my defence and I took that into game two," he said on Friday.

A modest Tonga described his two defensive shots on Williams, who came hurtling across field from the opposite wing, as "flukes".

"My timing was right I guess."

Tonga's timing will need to be like a Swiss watch on Wednesday night but he's confident he can repay the faith in him.

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