No special plan for Hayne, say Tigers
August 20, 2009 - 3:59PM
More is less as far as the Wests Tigers are concerned when it comes to shutting down Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne.
The most dangerous player in the NRL at the moment has been a key focus for the Tigers ahead of Friday’s blockbuster at the SFS, and coach Tim Sheens revealed he may have found a weakness in the 21-year-old superstar’s game.
“When he gets tired he seems to change with Luke Burt so he is not the most aerobic fullback in the world but he is certainly an impact player,” said Sheens on Thursday.
"We’ve got no special plans other than we’ve had a look at what his little idiosyncrasies are and what he likes to do and doesn’t like to do and we will play to that a little bit.
"But it’s not a specific focus of our game plan.
"If we worry about Jarryd I think the rest of the side is a good side, he is not the only one winning them the games.
“Like any good player you try to limit his ability to get into the game, but I’m not going to focus everything on shutting one man down.”
Skipper Robbie Farah remained very tight-lipped about the Tigers’ plans for Hayne, but there is little doubt he is the most feared player in the Eels lineup.
“He definitely is a freak and in the form of his career and probably one of the best players going around if not the best,” said Farah.
"Players like that at some stage of the game they’re going to hurt you and hopefully we can limit how much damage he does.
"(But) one player doesn’t win you a game of footy … they have quality players across the park and they’re not a one-man team.
“Hopefully we can show you (how to stop him) tomorrow night.”
Both sides are running hot ahead of the round 24 fixture, the Tigers on a six-game winning streak while the Eels have won their last five games straight.
The importance of this game illustrated by the fact the Tigers could fall from fifth to 10th with a loss, while the ninth-placed Eels could jump to fifth by the end of the round with a win, or be as low as 12th after the `destiny round.’
Given the high stakes on offer, Sheens said his biggest fear for the remaining three weeks of the competition is that a controversial refereeing decision will prove costly to one of the eight teams vying for the bottom four places in the finals.
“Hopefully the players will decide it and not a referee or video referee,” said Sheens.
"I don’t think there is a coach in the game particularly happy with the week in week out decisions that have gone for them or against them.
“(But) you would like to think the game with quality of referees we have got and the importance of games in the last three weeks, particularly teams running from fifth down, it’s very, very important there is no controversy.”