Hayne revives some of his best form but still no sign of a new contract
Jarryd Hayne showed signs of his best form despite the Eels being on the losing end of a close match, 18-16 against the Knights, but it may not be enough to get the Parramatta star a new contract.
The former Australian and NSW Origin back showed his trademark sidestep, fend, and scintillating speed, to assist with Eels tries to Mitchell Moses and Corey Norman.
But coach Brad Arthur says he is still no closer to making a decision on whether to offer him a contract next season.
"He has played well in a couple of games since he has been back [from hip injury], but he just needs to go back-to-back with performances and efforts like that, and we'll see where it gets to," Arthur said.
"But he's more than comfortable to see what happens at the end of the year."
The Eels jumped out to a 10-0 lead in a frantic start to the game, but could not maintain the momentum, completing just 25 of their 38 sets for the match.
"We are finding ways to lose instead of ways to win," Arthur said.
"That's our season, isn't it? I thought there was more positives than negatives tonight, but we lost.
"Putting ourselves under enormous pressure after a really good start – I think in eight of our last nine sets in the first half we didn't get to a kick – it's not good enough.
"Defence, effort, energy enthusiasm was all there – it was great. A a completion rate at 50 per cent at halftime gave them energy to come out and start the second half [strongly]."
While Arthur admits that the Eels have stepped up a gear since the Cowboys win, in terms of their drive and effort, they need to give themselves chances to win the game – something the players realise they need to take upon themselves to fix.
"Just fundamental errors, and I was guilty of a few of them, put the boys under stress in the first half," fullback Clint Gutherson said.
"It was frustrating, but it was fundamental errors that are costing us and we just need to pull fingers out and stop it."
The Eels have seven games left to try to arrest their 14 losses.