League teammates expect Hayne explosion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

League teammates expect Hayne explosion

David Beniuk 05/05/2011 05:25:08 PM Comments (0)

With a question mark hanging over Jarryd Hayne's representative prospects, NSW City Origin teammates expect the superstar fullback to explode back into form against Country.

It's been an unhappy fortnight for Hayne, with a suspension for headbutting while playing for struggling Parramatta, followed by a snubbing from Test selectors.

Hayne has stayed silent since arriving in Albury with City, but captain Robbie Farah is certain his football will do the talking on Friday night against Country.

"No doubt, he's a quality player and I wouldn't be writing off a player of Jarryd's calibre," Farah told reporters on Thursday.

"These big occasions, they always step up to the plate and I expect no different tomorrow night."

The decision by Kangaroos selectors to snub him shows there are no certainties for Hayne, who will battle rising Country star Josh Dugan in Albury for a State of Origin jersey.

Betting agency Sportingbet has opened a book on NSW selections, with Hayne only a slight $1.95 favourite over Dugan ($2.05) to retain the Blues' No.1 jumper for Origin I.

"Both players are very good players. Both players have got plenty of potential and both players still haven't reached their potential, so that's a scary thought," Country coach Laurie Daley said.

" ... It will be a very good battle."

The Hayne-Dugan match-up is just one of several which will have a bearing on the selection of Ricky Stuart's Blues.

Surprisingly, Country half Jarrod Mullen ($1.70) is the favourite to wear the No.7 jersey, ahead of City opposite number Mitchell Pearce ($2.10).

Daley said Mullen, who was tried for one Origin game in 2007, was ready for the game's toughest arena.

"It's just a matter of maturity," Daley said.

"It's a difficult position to play. Mullo now has had six or seven years there and he's playing his best football, so that will continue and he'll only get better and that's probably the reason why he's Origin material if selected."

The game has been robbed of traditionally its feistiest match-up, between Farah and Country No.9 Michael Ennis, who withdrew with injury.

Farah ($2.40) is another surprising favourite to be picked for the Blues, ahead of St George-Illawarra's Dean Young ($2.50) and Ennis ($2.60).

City coach Brad Fittler said Farah had a chance to put to bed any lingering doubts about his ability to handle Origin after an unhappy 2009 series.

"There's always been question marks over different parts of Robbie's game, so if he can come out and ... have a really strong game and obviously have a bearing on the result, because he plays such a key position (it will help his cause)," Fittler said.

"I think he understands that."

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