Sharks wary of Hayne backlash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks wary of Hayne backlash

By Steve Jancetic 18/05/2011 05:32:26 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla are preparing to face the full brunt of Jarryd Hayne's State of Origin frustrations as the Parramatta star sets out to prove a point following his game one snubbing.

NSW coach Ricky Stuart did his former club few favours by overlooking the star fullback for next week's series opener, with the Sharks wary of a vengeful Hayne in Monday night's NRL clash at Parramatta Stadium.

The Eels No.1 was a shock omission for the Suncorp Stadium clash, with Hayne himself admitting to being confused by his axing - believing he had done enough to retain a berth after excelling in well-beaten sides over the last two series.

Even the Sharks were left a little stunned by his non-selection, and they are now fearing the worst on Monday night.

"It caught us by surprise a bit, I certainly expected him to be there in the Blues team," Sharks hooker John Morris said.

"It's just natural that after you've missed out on selection like that you're going to be keen for a big game.

"(Hayne's) no different, he'll be pumped to have a big game."

Hayne certainly gave himself every chance of forcing his way into Stuart's squad with a phenomenal display for the Eels against North Queensland last Saturday night - less than 24 hours before the Blues side was named.

But six linebreak assists, four tackle breaks, one try assist and two offloads were not enough to convince Stuart, with the Blues coach claiming Hayne's style of play was not conducive to his gameplan for Origin I.

NSW's potential loss is shaping as Parramatta's gain, with Morris admitting the Sharks could only limit his impact rather than shut him down completely.

"He's always a danger no matter when you play him - whether he's missed out on (NSW) selection or not," Morris said.

"We'll be doing what we can to limit those parts in the game when he's going to step up and cause trouble.

"As long as we can minimise that, we'll be okay."

That could be easier said than done for the Sharks, who will go into the game without their two best defenders in Paul Gallen (NSW Origin commitments) and Jeremy Smith (injury).

But while Hayne looms as an unexpected worry for Cronulla, the Sharks could have their own surprise x-factor with injured fullback Nathan Gardner some chance of making his return on Monday night.

Gardner hasn't played since re-injuring ankle in the round eight loss to South Sydney, but he hopes a visit to the specialist will clear him to resume running with the side on Friday.

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