Coach backs Jarryd Hayne over teammate spats
GOLD Coast coach Neil Henry has leapt to the defence of Jarryd Hayne after some pundits criticised his attitude in last week's surprise win over Cronulla.
Former Australian internationals Mark Gasnier and Justin Hodges said Hayne's arguments with young halfback Ash Taylor, followed by his spray at English recruit Dan Sarginson after he dropped a ball, might send the wrong message.
"Those guys - Ash Taylor, (Tyrone) Roberts - they can learn bad habits from him,” Hodges told Fox Sports' Sunday Ticket.
"I saw a play where he went down the short side, hit the winger (with a pass), he's dropped it, (Hayne has) blown up and carried on about it.
"You can't do that because those young guys will get scared of that and obviously fall away in games.”
Henry said he was not concerned over the spats between Hayne and Taylor as the Titans recorded their second win of the season.
"They're always fighting for the ball, they're competitive guys and if Ash wants the ball and Jarryd wants the ball they're going to argue a little bit,” he said.
Hayne was impressive in last week's win and Henry will be hoping for more of the same from his superstar fullback ahead of Saturday afternoon's clash with cellar-dwellers the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium.
"People are never satisfied with what Jarryd does, the benchmark is so high that they can find a way to have a crack at him about something,” Henry said.
"He did what he had to do, he had a nice set of touches down the short side in particular.
"The pass with Vaha (Leivaha Pulu) and knocking that ball back in from the kick was a big change in momentum for us.”
Henry also backed Hayne to keep up his good form in the hope of earning a place in the New South Wales squad for the first State of Origin game at Suncorp Stadium on May 31.