A night for Hayne to fulfil his destiny

On April 22, I wrote in this column: "If Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne promises to bring the same attitude and good form to State of Origin that he is currently displaying for his club, then there is no doubt he should be the fullback for the New South Wales Blues. I will go even further to say, if Jarryd Hayne decides it’s time for New South Wales to win an Origin series, he is more than capable of making it happen. That is how influential he can be when he puts his mind to the task".

Picture: Chris Hyde.

Picture: Chris Hyde.

Hayne was born on February 15, 1988 in Sydney. He is now 26, and has compiled a long list of achievements and representative honours on his resume, dating right back to 2003 when he was first selected for the Australian Schoolboys under-15s merit squad, from Westfield Sports High School. But regardless of what has gone before him, Hayne's career to date has simply been the preparation for what I believe is his destiny; to inspire and execute a State of Origin series victory for the NSW Blues. No better time than right now. His time has come. Tonight's the night. 

Daley is a true-Blue champion

With a Blues victory, coach Laurie Daley would become only the eighth series-winning Blues coach; and only the second Blue to experience a series victory as a player, captain and coach. Wayne Pearce was the other in 1985 (player), 1986 (captain) and 2000 (coach). 

Daley captained NSW to consecutive State of Origin series wins from 1992 to 1994. He captained the team to a 2-1 loss in 1998 and to a draw in the final game of 1999. His captaincy record in State of Origin was seven wins, five losses and one draw. Former Canberra teammates Daley and Mal Meninga were opposed 14 times as players in Origin football, Daley winning eight games to Meninga’s six. As a captain, Daley became one of the great team leaders of his generation. Apart from his unique abilities and skill-sets, he was a passionate footballer with a huge heart and enormously tough constitution. He led by example, rather than his words. We could see much of Daley's influence in the Blues' courageous victory in game one in Brisbane. More of the same will give them the series here at home in Sydney. 

Meninga and Thurston can take a bow

Meninga is the only Queensland coach to have never lost an Origin series (Terry Fearnley is the only NSW coach with a similar record). No other person has been involved in more State of Origin matches than Meninga. Wednesday night is his 58th Origin – 32 games as a player (for 15 wins) and his 26th as a coach (17 wins). It's an amazing record for a man who played in the first Origin match in 1980, to be still involved with Queensland Origin football 34 years later. Then we have the achievements of Maroons playmaker Johnathan Thurston. In his 29th consecutive Origin match, Thurston requires four points to break Meninga’s Origin point-scoring record. Thurston has scored 158 points for the Maroons, three in arrears of Meninga (161 points, 1980-94). Thurston’s breakdown is 5 tries, 68 goals and 2 field goals. He has won 18 and lost 10 of his 28 games. He made his debut in game one in 2005 and is the only player to appear in every game of Queensland’s eight successive series wins.

It just doesn't make sense

Recent home losses suffered by the Bulldogs to the Roosters and the Eels have once again highlighted the lunacy of playing NRL matches when State Of Origin players are not available. Many other clubs have been suffering from the same issues for years, including this year, but we won't, as a game, wake up to the damage we are doing to our product by failing to remove such matches from the calendar. The Bulldogs contracted, within this year's full-time NRL squad, three specialist halves (Trent Hodkinson, Josh Reynolds and Moses Mbye) but had none of these players available last Sunday. Mybe was injured and the other two were away on Origin duty. They were then forced to play veteran hooker Michael Ennis at halfback and edge back-rower Josh Jackson to five-eighth. It's amateurish. No professional sporting code anywhere in the world would damage its image or its product in this manner. The Bulldogs were comfortably defeated again on Sunday as a consequence. If the NRL wants to continue with such fixtures, which I strongly believe should not happen, then logic would surely dictate that the number of players on the minimum full-time salary needs to be far greater than the present number, to cater for such contingencies, and that additional funding for this needs to be provided to the clubs by the NRL.

Surprise field goals

There were keen students of the game searching through record books after Sydney Roosters' five-eighth James Maloney kicked the club's first field goal since August 2011, in the 29-12 victory over Newcastle last Saturday.The Roosters had gone 65 consecutive matches without successfully piloting a one-pointer through the posts, but that sequence pales into insignificance compared with their opponents from last weekend. The Knights have now gone 97 matches without successfully kicking a field goal. Their last field goal was kicked by Jarrod Mullen when the Knights defeated Cronulla 21-10 on July 11, 2010. To put that into context, only two NRL coaches from that round of matches (Titans' John Cartwright and Storm's Craig Bellamy) are still coaching the same NRL club.

Still no action on blockers

You may recall me writing in this column not so long ago that lack of action by our on-field officials was allowing illegal actions to go unfettered when it came to players defending crossfield bombs. As a result of this inaction, more and more instances of illegal blocking of kick chasers are occurring, much to the detriment of the game and its spectacle. It seems that as soon as a crossfield bomb goes up these days, the defending centre makes a beeline to the opposition kick chasers, giving him the maximum opportunity to deny the attacking player a fair shot at getting to the kick. We don't want it in our game, we don't need it in our game and our laws have been written to ensure we don't have it in our game. So please Tony Archer – we need you to help eradicate it.

This story A night for Hayne to fulfil his destiny first appeared on Parramatta Sun.


Discuss "A night for Hayne to fulfil his destiny"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.