Water Cooler: Could Hayne become Eels' greatest?
He has single-handedly resurrected his side’s season for the second year in a row but Parramatta legend Brett Kenny believes it is only the tip of the iceberg for Jarryd Hayne – predicting the brilliant fullback to go down as the greatest Eel of all time.<br><br>Kenny, until recently the most-capped Parramatta player of all time with 265 first grade games to his name, was left if awe of Hayne’s remarkable first-half performance against rivals Canterbury last Friday night which saw the 22-year-old score two tries in the first six minutes and set up two more for winger Krisnan Inu.<br><br>But having seen him guide the Eels to last year’s grand final in extraordinary fashion as well as tearing North Queensland and Penrith apart in recent weeks, Kenny has seen enough to suggest that Hayne will go down in history as the club’s best ever.<br><br>“He is certainly on his way there,” Kenny told NRL.com. “He’s got everything – great speed, he is a very good runner, he is a good defensive player and he has vision. He is actually one of the few Parramatta players at the moment that has vision.<br><br>“That pass he threw to Krisnan Inu when he scored, you could just see that he knew it had to be the cut-out pass rather than going through the hands. <br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&roundid=856&fixtureid=50020102001&videoquality=1&type=try&period=1&time=630" target="_blank">CLICK HERE to see Hayne's cut-out to Inu.</a><br><br>“A bit more consistency is all he needs and he will probably go down as the greatest player that Parramatta has ever had. <br><br>“Whether people take it further and say he is the greatest player in the game I don’t know but certainly the potential is there. He is 22 years old, he will mature and the consistency will come.<br><br>“I have no doubt he can certainly be the greatest player Parramatta has ever had.”<br><br>Kenny said that Hayne’s performances over the past three weeks have been particularly impressive, given the enormous expectations now placed on him each week.<br><br>The young custodian set the NRL alight 12 months ago as the Eels came from nowhere to reach the grand final, but has come under heavy scrutiny at times this season with Parramatta failing to reach the same dizzying heights of 2009 during the early rounds.<br><br>“As we’ve already seen, this time last year he was doing this sort of thing but then earlier this season he wasn’t doing it as often,” Kenny said. <br><br>“I’m not saying that he has to be playing like this every week because it is virtually going to be impossible, but just needs a bit more consistency.<br><br>“Having said that, there are some games where people say he hasn’t done anything and I think he has played quite well – he just hasn’t done the spectacular. That’s the biggest problem for him now. <br><br>“Andrew Johns was the same. If he didn’t do what he had done the previous two weeks – setting up tries and scoring a couple – people would say he had an off game but when you looked at it he had done what he had to do. <br><br>“He just didn’t have to do the exceptional things. That’s what Jarryd has to realise: that people are going to expect it now.<br><br>“But he is still only 22 – he has achieved a hell of a lot in a short space of time.”<br><br>Johns himself is a huge fan and paid the ultimate compliment after seeing Hayne score another thrilling solo try in the very first minute against Canterbury last Friday.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&roundid=856&fixtureid=50020102001&videoquality=1&type=try&period=1&time=49" target="_blank">CLICK HERE to see Hayne's first-minute try against the Bulldogs.</a><br><br>“I’ve seen some great players in my time,” Johns said. “I grew up watching [Peter] Sterling and Kenny, Wally Lewis, Laurie Daley, Allan Langer, [Johnathan] Thurston and [Darren] Lockyer – this guy’s got it all.”<br><br>Only three weeks ago Parramatta’s season looked dead and buried but Hayne has again led a dramatic fightback.<br><br>Against North Queensland in Round 18 he scored a thrilling hat-trick in the Eels’ 36-24 win to snap a three-game losing streak.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&roundid=854&fixtureid=50020101807&videoquality=1&type=try&period=1&time=2053" target="_blank">CLICK HERE to re-live Hayne's amazing hat-trick.</a><br><br>A week later he inspired a record-equalling comeback with a stunning 80-metre solo effort as Parramatta beat Penrith 34-28 after trailing 22-0.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&roundid=855&fixtureid=50020101904&videoquality=1&type=try&period=2&time=1638" target="_blank">CLICK HERE to see Hayne's brilliant solo try against the Panthers.</a><br><br>And he produced his very best last week to all-but end Canterbury’s season and catapult the Eels right back into finals contention.<br><br>“He is amazing to watch and the potential [to be one of the game’s greats] is certainly there,” NSW and Australian legend Laurie Daley said.<br><br>“He still needs to be consistent and do it for a long period first.<br><br>“Those Parramatta boys – Kenny, Sterling, Price, Cronin – they were very, very good and Jarryd has given us glimpse that he is up there too over the past couple of seasons.<br><br>“It’s a matter of him continuing to work hard and sustaining it over a period of time but if he does that then all of the accolades will come his way.”