Hayne the butt of Hindmarsh wisecracks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne the butt of Hindmarsh wisecracks

By Todd Balym 01/10/2009 05:14:05 PM Comments (0)

Usually when Nathan Hindmarsh cracks everyone up it's because his shorts are hanging low yet again.

This time it was Parramatta superstar Jarryd Hayne who was the butt of his joke.

"I think Haynesy wrote in Cosmopolitan magazine that his body is a blessing," said Hindmarsh at the NRL grand final breakfast on Thursday.

"That is enough motivation for me to try harder on the field."

Hindmarsh's one-liner wasn't the only light-hearted moment of what is usually an intense formal occasion, with both teams looking relaxed as they shared a stage in front of 600 guests at the Sydney Convention Centre.

The Storm players ditched their suit jackets while the Eels shed any doubt they would feel the pinch as relative newcomers to rugby league's grandest stage.

Prop Fuifui Moimoi attempted to hide his impossible-to-disguise head behind a football, while rookie five-eighth Daniel Mortimer scribbled notes like a naughty school kid in the official press conference.

Skipper Nathan Cayless, one of three remaining members of the 2001 grand final side, noted how different he felt, and looked, being on stage eight years later.

The last time the Eels attended a grand final breakfast their obvious nerves and anxiety were there for all to see and manifested themselves in a shock premiership loss to Newcastle.

"We looked pretty average," recalled Cayless. "We wore suits with high neck skivvies. I don't know whose idea that was.

"We looked pretty nervous and I think that's probably the biggest thing, we didn't really handle the occasion of the week and it probably got the better of us.

"With the players we have got and the ride we have been on we've dealt with high pressure situations.

"A lot of the younger blokes in the team don't have the excess baggage that some of us older blokes do and they've been really good for us this week.

"They've let myself and other guys really enjoy it."

Across the other side of the stage, Melbourne looked like a team that had been there many times before.

Coach Craig Bellamy had his game face on early, taking notes even as the partner of Eels' centre Joel Reddy unwittingly taunted Melbourne for their "easy" run to the finals.

But the Storm weren't without humour, ex-Eel Brett Finch getting the biggest laugh of the day at his own expense.

After being told his future lay elsewhere and released by Parramatta earlier this year, Finch decided to take credit for the Eels winning 10 of their last 11 games to reach the decider.

"Obviously I was a huge part of that because they've got better and better ever since I've left," said Finch.

"It's not good for the ego."

Even Eels coach Daniel Anderson laughed.

There's been few reasons for NRL chief executive David Gallop to chuckle this season, but the game's boss couldn't wipe the smile from his face at the prospect of a Billy Slater v Jarryd Hayne grand final match-up.

"It's a promoter's dream and certainly the NRL's dream given the season we have had," said Gallop.

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