Eels thrilled with Ma'u debut
Parramatta Eels captain Jarryd Hayne and halfback Luke Kelly have both heaped praise on debutant Manu Ma'u, whose blockbusting debut helped the Eels to a powerful 36-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Pirtek Stadium.
The 25-year-old Aucklander racked up five tackle breaks, two line breaks and 168 metres as his powerful runs down the Eels' left edge terrorised the Warriors' right side defence.
His runs helped set up a hat-trick for his outside winger Semi Radradra, and earned the praise of teammates.
Halfback Kelly couldn't keep the smile from his face when asked about the stunning debut.
"Haha, yeah he went unreal!" Kelly told NRL.com.
"He played very well. If he can do that every week he'll be going well! But he's worked really hard in the pre-season, as he showed tonight, he performed very well. He can be very happy with his debut, it was one to remember."
Earlier, Hayne told the post match press conference that of the four Parramatta club debutants – who also included established first graders Corey Norman, Nathan Peats and Will Hopoate – Ma'u's was the most pleasing.
"I thought they [the debutants] were great. I thought Manu Ma'u was probably the one that stood out the most for me," Hayne said.
"Corey Norman and Peatsy are sort of established, we knew what they were going to bring, but I thought Manu Ma'u was great for us tonight, his aggression in defence and the way he ran the ball and targeted their halves was great and definitely got a lot of momentum for us."