Superstar fullback Jarryd Hayne has run freely for the first time since entering NSW State of Origin camp on Wednesday.
Blues fans need not worry, the Hayne Plane is soaring again.
After being grounded all week with a leg cork, game-breaking fullback Jarryd Hayne left NSW teammates feeling awestruck at training on Saturday ahead of State of Origin II in Sydney on Wednesday night.
Hayne was able to run freely for the first time since entering camp at Coffs Harbour last Wednesday and the Blues are predicting their attacking freak will trump his breathless man-of-the-match display in the series opener.
“He was awesome,” said veteran back-rower Luke Lewis.
“He was flying today and we’ve got another big session tomorrow and I think we’ll see the best of him tomorrow and he’ll start to build up his preparation from tomorrow onwards.
“I think he’s in for another man-of-the-match performance hopefully.”
After Hayne’s devastating display in Brisbane, Lewis has no doubts the Maroons’ prime focus will be trying to limit his impact at ANZ Stadium – but he suspects the NSW No.1 will still find a way to terrorise Queensland once more.
“They would have done their homework,” Lewis said.
“Any game you play, even if it’s a club game, Haynesy is your No.1 priority if you play against him.
“You need to look after him and shut him down as best you can and I’m sure they’ll be doing that.
“But Haynesy’s been doing his video as well and I’m sure he’s got an attack to combat that as well.”
Hayne’s sublime game one showing ranked alongside some of Wally Lewis’s all-time great Origin performances, but Blues five-eighth Josh Reynolds is tipping the superstar fullback to take it up another level still.
“He’s one of those players you don’t know how far he can go, really. He’s a special player,” Reynolds said.
“The thing is, we can’t just hope for him to do that … We know he can do it. So it’s good to have there, but we’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything to help him out as well.
“There’s no expectation on him.”
Lewis said some of the tricks Hayne pulled off at training on Saturday were mind-blowing.
“He’s pretty skilful. You don’t realise,” Lewis said.
“You watch him on the field but when he’s at training he does all these other little soccer things when he flicks it up behind his back, heads it and then drop goals and it’s hit five out of five.
“He’s good value to have around, very competitive.”
With 18 interstate matches under his belt, Hayne is also the Blues’ most experienced Origin campaigner. Reynolds said the 26-year-old’s steadying influence on rookies like himself and halves partner Trent Hodkinson was invaluable.
“He’s that calm it’s not funny,” Reynolds said.
The Blues will ramp up their preparations on Sunday with a heavy team session before returning to Sydney for one final captain’s run as they look to clinch a first series win since 2005.