Jarryd Hayne claims Saturday’s win over the Sydney Roosters was a reminder of the feeling that surrounded the Eels during their golden run to the 2009 grand final.
Hayne was magnificent in his side’s 14-12 win over the premiers at Pirtek Stadium and like so often was involved in two of the key plays that secured the victory for his side.
The first was delicious no-look cut-out pass that led to a Ken Sio try.
Then with two minutes remaining he produced a stunning piece of defending to hold up Sonny Bill Williams when he looked certain to pickpocket the two points for the Roosters.
That play secured a third successive win for Eels for the first time since 2010 and their 4-2 start to the season is the club’s best for a decade.
“We haven’t been here before, it’s strange,” Hayne said.
“But that performance showed why we have won our last three. The way we defended was amazing. We were like a little chihuahua that wouldn’t go away.
“They have the best roster in the game. Their bench could start and to hold them scoreless in second half was a fantastic we all just showed up.”
Despite a day of driving rain in Sydney a healthy crowd of 15,312 braved the conditions to create a red-hot atmosphere in the second half as the Eels avenged their 56-4 loss to the Roosters only a month ago.
“It shows how passionate our supporters are, we’ve come last two years in a row, not made the finals in five years, but you walk around Parra they still love you and support you through thick and thin,” he said.
“It was like that in 2009 when we reached the GF, the crowd, the noise, the passion.”
The turnaround under coach Brad Arthur is nothing short of remarkable with only two errors for the whole game and Hayne said he has created a whole new culture at a club that has spent so long in the doldrums.
“He’s go us well drilled, got us working hard for one another,” he said.
“We are a team without too many superstars, but we are all working for one another and it’s paying off.
“We’ve had some dark times and although it’s very early in the season, we are enjoying these moments.”