After the bright lights and adoration in which he bathed during a short stint in the NFL, Jarryd Hayne has struggled to regain the form that found him receiving the Dally M for his efforts during his first stint with the Parramatta Eels.
Similar to the way Gary Ablett was able to escape Queensland for a swan song with his beloved Geelong Cats, Hayne was able to break free of the Titans in the off-season and return to the site of his former glory, but some experts feel that Hayne has cooled to rugby and is looking ahead to life after the game.
We do not envy rugby players, or begrudge them their pay envelopes, because when they are not playing for their clubs, they are off performing representative duties at one level or another, with the reward for playing well at one level rewarded only with more work and higher expectations.
Playing for Fiji against Papua New Guinea in the Rep Round, Hayne seemed to lose interest when the game started to get away from Fiji, which prompted Fox expert Michael Ennis to say, “I’m starting to wonder whether Jarryd Hayne really wants to play anymore. His body language at times gives me a sense to think, that he doesn’t have that love for it anymore.”
Fiji went into the game as heavy favourites, but eventually lost by the score of 26 – 14. As the game wore on, Hayne’s participation declined. His season for Parramatta, well, the ladder says everything anyone needs to know on that score, although those with a rosier disposition than we have at our disposal might point out that the Eels and Hayne are only five places below the West Coast Titans at this stage of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition.
That is optimism of a degree far beyond ours, however, as we look at the ladder and sees the Eels with nowhere to go but up.