Hayne can be stopped, insists Bennett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne can be stopped, insists Bennett

By Steve Jancetic 01/09/2009 06:45:02 PM Comments (0)

More than 32 years of coaching have taught Wayne Bennett a valuable lesson - no-one is unstoppable - not even Parramatta sensation Jarryd Hayne.

Hayne has been a one-man wrecking crew in propelling the Eels to an improbable finals berth, but St George Illawarra coach Bennett said he wasn't fearing another Hayne onslaught in Friday night's NRL blockbuster.

Parramatta head into the game against the Dragons on the back of seven straight wins, a run in no small part thanks to Hayne's purple patch of form.

Bennett claimed he had come up with gameplans to stop the most dominant of players - including rugby league Immortal Wally Lewis - when Bennett and a rampant `King' went head to head in the local Brisbane club competition throughout the 1980s.

"I've coached enough games to know that there's nobody in the game that if you get it right you can't stop it," Bennett said.

"I've seen some great players in our game - you accept that they get you once or twice perhaps but at the end of the day you know that if you've got a good team that they can't run mayhem against you and create absolute havoc."

Whether the Dragons are a good enough team has been brought into question in recent weeks, particularly last week when they leaked 41 points in going down to struggling South Sydney.

But Bennett backed the side which still boasts the best defensive record in the competition to shut Hayne down.

"Jarryd is a wonderfully gifted player and I'm sure he'll create his moments out there for us on Friday night, but is he unstoppable? Can you stop a lot of the stuff? You can," Bennett said.

"Can you do it all night? That's a more difficult thing but if you do it enough then it gives you the chance to stay in the game.

"I coached against the great Wally Lewis in the early years - they do make life difficult for you."

Since being moved to the No.1 jumper in round 10, Hayne has never been limited to less than 144 metres in a game.

Five times he has run for in excess of 200 metres, while on ten occasions he has made multiple line breaks.

In only six of his 14 games at the back has he failed to provide a try assist, while he is also going about his work with some degree of efficiency with just two errors in his last seven matches.

Now he's added an extra weapon to his arsenal, with Hayne coming up with three 40-20 kicks in vital wins over Penrith and Wests Tigers over the last fortnight.

But Dragons backrower Ben Creagh - a teammate of Hayne's during NSW's Origin campaign - said it was the Eels star's uncanny mix of strength and speed that made him tough to contain.

"He's a very hard man to tackle," Creagh said.

"I remember when he was playing centre earlier in the season when we played them and I was against him on the right edge and he's a handful just with how strong he is.

"When he's got 30 metres to work with at fullback he's got even more time with the ball - we'll just try and contain him as much as we can."

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