The last time Jarryd Hayne took a team into an NRL finals campaign from eighth on the ladder it was pretty memorable.
The Gold Coast recruit turned in a wondrous run of form for Parramatta in 2009 as the Eels charged from the last finals position to a grand final.
It’s a run Hayne is eager to emulate at his new club as the Titans begin their first finals campaign since 2010 against Queensland rivals Brisbane on Friday night.
The 28-year-old says that charge through September seven years ago was all about momentum, something he firmly believes the Titans can find against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
“We were on fire and took that momentum through the whole series … we’ve got an opportunity to play our best footy and that’s what we’re hoping to do on Friday night,” Hayne said.
“We’re in control of it, with how well we play.
“The key for us is we’ve got what it takes to go with teams with our ability and talent across the park.”
Hayne endured his toughest day yet in a Titans jersey against North Queensland last Saturday.
The ex-NSW Origin superstar made just 69 running metres and missed three tackles.
He also coughed up a ball early in the first half to allow Cowboys’ winger Antonio Winterstein to score.
It’s a performance Hayne is eager to eradicate and he’s confident his link with halves pairing Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts will be stronger against the Broncos.
“That’s only our second game as a spine together,” he said.
“It was always going to take time. This week we just have to click and hope it all works out.”
A key element of the Titans being able to attract Hayne to the club was the lure of finals football in 2016.
Ahead of his first finals’ appearance since that ’09 grand final defeat, Hayne said it was a thrill to be back on the game’s biggest stage.
“It’s great to be in the finals,” he said.
“It’s exciting to be here. I haven’t been here in a while. It’s going to be a big game.”