Jarryd Hayne is back and he’s got that 2009 feeling all over again.
Hayne erased any doubts about how long it will take him to warm to the task as he kicked a brilliant field goal to seal a nail-biting 19-18 NRL win over Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.
The victory ensures the Titans will finish the weekend inside the top eight and with three rounds remaining they are shaping as a real dark horse of the premiership.
Hayne proved he was ready to be the side’s X-factor and he knows all about helping a side coming from the clouds.
Seven years ago Hayne struck form, the likes of which the competition hasn’t seen since.
He guided the Eels from third last with eight rounds remaining all the way to the grand final.
And Hayne said there was no ceiling on how high the Titans could go this year.
“Once our attack starts to flow, our defence is at a high standard, I think that’s what will put us in good stead,” Hayne said.
“We’re in a bit better position than where we were at at Parra back in `09, we’ve still pretty much got to win the last two out of three games.
“If we can get a rhythm in attack, anything’s possible.”
Hayne returned to the NRL last week after he failed to make the Fiji Rugby Sevens squad for the Rio Olympics and might have been asking himself what could have been after watching the side claim gold.
However rather than be bitter at his missed chance at an Olympic medal, he attributed his memorable field goal to the skills he learnt during his brief stint in rugby.
After Titans halfback Ash Taylor and Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses both missed two attempted one-pointers, Hayne stepped up to the plate with eight seconds on the clock and iced the game.
“As soon as I got the ball I just sort of went back into my mode when I was at the Fiji Sevens of kicking field goals – that was just to take your time and get the drop right,” he said.
“That’s probably the biggest thing. If you look in the replays you see I take an eternity to get the ball good, that’s why.”