Eels coach wants even more from Hayne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels coach wants even more from Hayne

Laine Clark 04/09/2011 03:24:41 PM Comments (0)

Jarryd Hayne needs to be at his best more consistently to be considered one of the NRL's elite, according to his Parramatta coach Stephen Kearney.

A Hayne-inspired Eels blew away the Gold Coast 32-12 at Skilled Park on Saturday night to avoid the famous club's first wooden spoon since 1972.

Hayne set up five tries and helped himself to the team's sixth with a sensational 103m effort as the Eels jumped to a 32-0 lead after 48 minutes.

Yet Eels coach Kearney was not completely satisfied.

"He's up there with the cream of the game when he is on song," he said.

"The improvement for Jarryd ... (to be) like the Lockyers, Cronks, Slaters and Smiths, is to back that up week after week."

Despite Hayne's display at five-eighth, Kearney confirmed the imminent arrival of Ben Roberts and Chris Sandow would mean his star reverting to fullback next year.

With Hayne's help, the Eels didn't just hand the Gold Coast the wooden spoon - they whacked them over the head with it.

Relieved skipper Nathan Hindmarsh said the relief of eluding the unwanted piece of cutlery would give his side a spring in their step in 2012.

"I am very happy. There is a massive difference between last and second-last," a beaming Hindmarsh said.

"Before this game I was the most nervous in a long time - the loser was going to take the spoon home.

"I have been dreading that for a few weeks now - to be captain of a club with such tradition, I am glad we didn't end up with it."

The Eels finally produced an 80-minute effort to snap a seven-game losing run of near misses that incredibly included three one-point losses in golden-point extra-time.

In the end, just six wins and a draw - albeit in golden point extra-time against the Dragons - was all the Eels had to show for 2011, but Hindmarsh saw so much more.

"I am proud of the way the boys handled themselves this year," Hindmarsh said.

"We have lost some close games but we have been very competitive - I think we can take a lot out of this year."

Especially Hayne after giving Australian selectors a not so subtle reminder ahead of the end of year Tests.

Deft passes and clever kicks set up five tries but the highlight was his 11th minute heroics.

Luck was on his side when a Preston Campbell pass ricocheted into his hands in the in-goal area.

But there was no luck involved as Hayne - from a standing start - showed blinding speed to cut through the Titans and set sail down the left sideline to score despite a looming David Mead.

Like Hindmarsh, Kearney was also breathing easy after missing the spoon - especially after being at Melbourne last year during the salary cap rort scandal.

"To get a couple (of spoons) in as many years wouldn't have been nice," he said dryly.

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