Hayne in running for Blues at centre
JARRYD Hayne yesterday submitted a compelling case for a NSW Origin recall after posting his first two-try haul in three years to spearhead the Titans’ 38-8 rout of Newcastle.
Titans coach Neil Henry may have found the formula to get the Hayne Plane soaring after an eleventh-hour switch to centre ignited Gold Coast’s enigmatic $1 million man.
Hayne was named at fullback but ended up shifting to left centre where he outpointed Newcastle and Maroons ace Dane Gagai before 10,511 fans at Cbus Super Stadium.
The prospect of a Hayne Origin recall has been furiously debated. He may still be an outside hope but if nothing else yesterday, Hayne showed NSW coach Laurie Daley he possesses the utility value to be a matchwinner for the Blues.
For 40 minutes at Robina, the Titans looked rudderless and in danger of defeat after an insipid first half helped the lowly Knights claim a surprise 8-6 half-time lead.
But Hayne triggered the fightback. After scoring his side’s only try of the first half, Hayne charged on to an Ashley Taylor pass in the 49th minute to give the Titans a crucial 16-8 advantage.
Ultimately, the Knights fell apart, the Gold Coast posting six second half-tries – and four in the final 20 minutes – to help stabilise their season.
Henry’s troops have now won two consecutive games after upsetting premiers Cronulla and are building momentum to stay in touch with the top eight.
The only downside for the Titans was the loss of in-form prop Jarrod Wallace, who failed to return after suffering a headknock in the 37th minute.