Eels set to rest Hayne for Panthers clash
Parramatta are likely to be without NSW hero Jarryd Hayne for Friday night's clash against Penrith, with coach Brad Arthur indicating it would be a "big call" to ask him to back up 48 hours after Origin.
Hayne admitted he was "exhausted" after his Man of the Match performance in Wednesday night's win over Queensland, but Arthur said he would sit down with his superstar fullback before making a final decision on game day.
"It was a big game and his workload was big, so we'll have to manage him when he gets back," Arthur said on Thursday.
"I haven't spoken to him since after the game so we'll have to wait and see tomorrow. It'll come down to the advice we get from our medical staff.
"We usually wouldn't ask him to train 48 hours after a game so it'd be a big call to make him play. But I'll have a chat with him this afternoon to see where he's at. If we consider it a risk, we won't play him."
Hayne came off the bench for the Eels in the corresponding fixture last year, but failed to finish the game after suffering a hamstring injury that subsequently ruled him out for the rest of the Origin series and plagued the second half of his 2014 campaign.
"We'll assess him when he gets back and if he's no good, he won't play," Arthur said. "But if you look back at last year I think he started off the bench as well. I'm not sure if that helped."
Losing Hayne would be a massive blow for the 4th-placed Eels, who could drop out of the top eight with a defeat against their neighbourhood rivals tomorrow night. Hayne, 26, has been the main catalyst for Parramatta's push up the ladder over the first third of the season, with many comparing his current form to that which drove the Eels to a fairytale grand final in 2009.
"He's matured as a leader and obviously the confidence is high and the morale is high at the club at the moment," Arthur said. "[But] we're only into round 12, there's still a long way to go. It can drop as quick as we got up there. We just have to keep working hard.
"... It's an important game for us, but what's more important for us is backing up our last two efforts. Our defence was good against the Dragons [and] we were a bit off against the Sharks, so we need to come out and defend well tomorrow night."