Jarryd Hayne runs out  at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville last Saturday.
Jarryd Hayne runs out at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville last Saturday. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

It's time the Hayne Plane ignited his jet engines

ON THIS day last week Titans chief executive Graham Annesley declared Jarryd Hayne one of the biggest names in Australian sport and excitedly announced that Hayne had agreed to extend his contract at the club for one more season.

Hayne had notified the club just 12 hours before his deadline - and on the eve of Origin I - that he would accept the $1.2 million offer to stay with the Titans until the end of 2018.

And, in cutting it so fine, he conceded he was 'pretty laidback, hey'.

Last Thursday the Titans boss had every right to be excited about Hayne deciding to stay on the glitter strip.

Their marquee player had just come off an outstanding Origin performance in which he had played 80 tough minutes, made 13 runs for 139 metres, pulled off 14 tackles, made a line break and scored a try.

It was by far his best performance since returning to the NRL following a two-year dalliance with the NFL and rugby sevens.

But it's odds-on Annesley didn't have that same level of enthusiasm after Saturday night's loss to the Cowboys.

Jarryd Hayne during Game 1 of the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane
Jarryd Hayne during Game 1 of the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane DAVE HUNT

Backing up from Origin, one of the highest paid players in the NRL played for 65 minutes, had five runs for just 41 metres and made two errors.

Admittedly playing three nights after a match as intense and brutal as Origin is a tough ask, but in the NRL clash immediately preceding the Cowboys-Titans, three Origin backs - each being paid less than half of Hayne's $1.2 million - played the entire 80 minutes and had a much bigger dig.

Blake Ferguson had 16 runs for 153 metres, Darius Boyd 17 for 155 and Corey Oates 18 for 204 metres.

Apart from when he took the field, Hayne appeared decidedly more disinterested in Townsville than he did three nights earlier at Suncorp Stadium.

And against the Cowboys he played 'pretty laidback, hey'.

Which raises the question - is he worth the money the Titans have shelled out?

There is no disputing his talent, and at 29 he still has some fruitful footy years ahead.

It is questionable however, whether Gold Coast fans are as excited as Graham Annesley about Hayne gorging such a large slice of their salary cap.

But the value-for-money query is not the only issue. According to a weekend newspaper report Hayne and coach Neil Henry don't see eye-to-eye and apparently Hayne has re-signed on the condition he plays fullback, and not centre.

And that claim grew legs on Tuesday when Hayne was named at fullback to play the Warriors at the weekend. In fairness though, fullback is his best position and if the Titans are to get value, that is where he should play.

Now that his future is settled, the time has come for him to be less 'laidback, hey'.

After all, $50,000 a game for 24 NRL rounds is no small investment.

News Corp Australia

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