This year, there is not as much pressure. This year, Hayne has a coach spurring him on. This year, Jarryd Hayne knows what he has to do, and for Eels second-rower Nathan Hindmarsh, he thinks that Hayne can reach new heights in 2011.
Perhaps a key reason behind this, is for example, the Warriors clash in Rd 1. The Eels players, rather than relying on Hayne to produce something like they did in 2010, they took it upon themselves to create something, and it worked.
For Hindmarsh, he believes that both Robson and Mortimer controlled the tempo of the game against the Warriors, whereas last season, in 2010, this just was not the case.
”I thought our halves were great, and as a result ‘Haynesy’ played a great game in that he didn’t think he had to chime in on everything,” Hindmarsh said.
”That’s how we want him to play it. We want him to pop up when he needs to pop up, and not try and run the show. I think our halves did a great job to help make that happen.”
Whilst the reliance on Hayne had been talked about in the past, it has only been since the introduction of new coach Stephen Kearney that it has come into fruition.
”I think it comes down to how we trained during the pre-season. The onus has been on the halves to do their jobs, and they did it well, and Haynesy can put himself in where he thinks he needs to put himself in”, Hindmarsh said.
”In Saturday’s game, he didn’t need to do anything outrageous. He put up a few great bombs and scored a great try from a kick-chase, but apart from that he just chimed in when he needed to chime in.”
If the Eels can manage to perform consistently, and play with a similar intensity as they did in Rd 1, then Hindmarsh believes that Hayne will be able to make better choices.
”I think he’ll become an even better player than he already is,” Hindmarsh said.
”Haynesy is another year older, and a year wiser, and he can pick and choose pretty much when he needs to go in, instead of having the pressure on him to try to do everything himself. I think it’s going to be great for the team and for Haynesy’s game.
”Everyone knows he had enormous pressure on him last year. Coming off being a Dally M winner, there’s always going to be that pressure on you to do it again, and he struggled with that a bit, I think.”
Hindmarsh’s thoughts were shared by his second-row team-mate Justin Horo, who also believes that if the rest of the team do their job, it makes it easier on Hayne to perform better.
”I think it comes down to the structure we’re using,” he said.
”We all know the sets we’re going to go through, and everyone knows they’ve got a job, so we try not to rely on Jarryd too much, and then he can come in, as you saw on the weekend, and get in there and do a few things.
”He’s still a match-winner, and I think this will make him an even better player because he’s going to be able to come in and play a role he’s comfortable with.”