Wayne Bennet was highly critical of Jarryd Hayne’s performance in Origin II. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
NSW star Jarryd Hayne admits master coach Wayne Bennett had every right to call him out for bombing a near-certain try in the Blues’ State of Origin II loss to Queensland.
Two days after the heartbreaking defeat, Hayne bounced back with an explosive flurry of points to set up Gold Coast’s 26-14 win over Wests Tigers on Friday night.
The NSW centre scored two tries and set up a third in the space of 10 second-half minutes to almost single-handedly snap the Titans’ four-game losing streak and keep their season alive.
The performance came almost a year after the code-hopping star infamously declared Campbelltown his “house” following a game-winning field goal in his second match back in the NRL.
“It’s just good to be back home. The coach actually spoke before the game about going back and remembering why we played footy,” Hayne said.
“We’ve been in a bit of a rough patch at the moment and he just went back to basics.
“I went up to him and thought it was awesome because that’s my mentality for my whole career — just go out there and have fun like I did when I was a kid.”
The display also came just a day after Bennett savaged Hayne for failing to pass the ball to Brett Morris in Origin II, something that would have given the Blues a potentially decisive two-try lead.
Hayne was happy to cop Bennett’s spray and said he was disappointed in his overall effort.
“I was already off myself and it’s been hard to sleep after the game knowing a couple of things I did wrong,” he said.
“I thought it was 50-50 [to pass] and I thought [Dane] Gagai was hesitant in what to do.
“I probably hurt myself because I went for the kick — I thought (Mitchell Pearce) was going to kick so I went through and he passed.
“So I had to reload and that put me off my vision with getting early ball to B-Moz.
“We’ll look at the video and [Bennett is] right — little things like that in the game do hurt you. If we score there it’s game over. I’m my hardest critic and that’s something that hurts me.”