Bennett: Judge Hayne by how he plays
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has weighed into the debate surrounding Jarryd Hayne's contribution on the Gold Coast saying the superstar fullback should only be judged by what he delivers on game day.
Taking a swipe at the media that have turned the spotlight so strongly on Hayne's attitude during pre-season training, Bennett said that the greatest players in his experience have often been the worst trainers, and he has seen more than his fair share.
The likes of Allan Langer and Justin Hodges are famous for saving their energy for 80 minutes on Sunday rather than going flat-out mid-week and Bennett said that their ability to deliver week after week was what made them such great players.
No one in rugby league questions that Jarryd Hayne possesses talents most players could only dream of and Bennett made an impassioned plea to allow those talents to be showcased – and celebrated – when he runs onto the field.
"I've trained some of the best trainers in the world and they can't play. I've trained other guys that hated training and were great players," Bennett said.
"Some of our greatest players I can tell you were not great trainers but they never made a headline.
"They made headlines because of the way they played on the football field. Jarryd Hayne is one hell of a football player, that's what he should be judged on.
"He needs to be judged by what he does on the field. That's what he's there for.
"Whether he trains good or bad is up to him and his coach to work out, not to make a national headline over it.
"He's got a unique talent and the unique ones are always more difficult to train than anybody else.
"They bring something that I could never coach and that Neil Henry can't coach and that players that he's playing with can't deliver.
"At the end of the day, what Jarryd Hayne does on the football field is the most important thing.
"What he does off the football field with regards to his training, that's for the club to handle and it should be left there."