Hayne is worth the wait: Annesley
Waiting until only hours remained before the deadline to activate a contract extension passed was so true to form for Jarryd Hayne that the only surprise was that in the end he choose to stay but Titans CEO Graham Annesley is adamant that it was worth the wait.
With Hayne deep in camp with the New South Wales team for 10 days the Titans remained on tenterhooks awaiting a decision either way, the club informed that their marquee player would be staying for a third season in 2018 only hours before Origin I kicked off.
The most intriguing and polarising player in the game, Hayne's presence at a club brings both attention and expectation, two aspects that Annesley says the Titans are only too happy to embrace.
Since arriving at the club in August last year Hayne has brought a national relevance to Gold Coast that only off-field scandals had matched in the club's 10-year history previously.
The challenge now is to turn profile into a premiership.
As confident as anyone can be with any decision made by Hayne, Annesley said he was optimistic in the months leading up to the May 31 deadline that the former San Francisco 49er would stay at the club and was adamant his decision is a positive for the club on many levels.
"There aren't too many players in the game that can genuinely in their own right generate additional commercial opportunities for clubs, and Jarryd is one of those," Annesley said.
"There are a handful of players in the game and we all know who they are.
"For us to have Jarryd here at the Gold Coast is really important for us in terms of how we take the club forward off the field as well as on the field.
"The other great thing about having a player like Jarryd as part of our roster is that he actually attracts other players. When we're in the player market, whether it be renegotiating with existing players or negotiating with potential players that might want to come to the Titans, having a player like Jarryd on board makes it a more attractive proposition.
"That's another added bonus of having one of those very elite players as part of our squad."
Hayne's first full pre-season since 2013 had many pundits tipping the Titans to be top-four contenders in 2017 but an ankle injury suffered in Round 2 saw the 29-year-old miss five weeks.
His return in Round 8 coincided with the Titans going on a three-game winning streak and his performance for the Blues on Wednesday night showed just how damaging he can be in the most elite of company.
The Titans' significant investment needs to pay off in more than the front office but Annesley said he will still have to contribute to a team effort for the club to enjoy success.
"Any of the doubts about his ability to perform at the highest level were certainly silenced last night and we look forward to him reproducing that sort of form for us," Annesley said.
"He hasn't played that many games for us since he joined us late last year. He's not been back with us on the field very long but he showed last night that he's regaining the form that made him one of the best players in the game.
"Any club in the competition would like to have him on their roster.
"We all have big expectations of the entire squad. Jarryd's not going to win us a competition on his own, he's a member of a team and the team has to perform up to potential and expectations.
"Jarryd can contribute to that enormously but so does every other member of our team."
The Titans are hopeful that Hayne will be fit to take his place in the centres against the Cowboys where he could line up opposite Justin O'Neill for the second time in four days but hooker Nathan Peats (corked thigh) is unlikely to back up.