Fansunite 3 years ago

Hayne impresses in pre-season finale

  • Hayne impresses in pre-season finale

Jarryd Hayne has likely played himself into the San Francisco 49ers' 53-man squad by showing his versatility with power-running, safe hands and punt returning skills against the San Diego Chargers.

"That was my most complete game," a pleased Hayne told reporters in the locker room after the game.

The 49ers beat the Chargers 14-12 in their fourth and final pre-season game before the September 14 regular-season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

You might also like

The 49ers have until Saturday (Sunday AEST) to cut their 75-man pre-season squad to 53.

While Hayne is expected to make the team, two other 49ers competing for his punt and kick returning positions, wide receivers Bruce Ellington and DeAndrew White, also had impressive games.

Ellington was the first 49ers' returner on the field and, as a wide receiver, scored a 70-yard touchdown.

49ers head coach Jim Tomsula has said he wants his punt returners to contribute at other positions.

After the game Tomsula refused to give too much away, but detailed how the Australian was able to play multiple positions strongly.

"Everything will be clear-cut after the weekend," Tomsula said.

In the third and fourth quarters the 49ers went to Hayne at running back and he showed the elusive, power-running that made him one of the NRL's best players.

In one sequence Hayne caught a pass for five yards, had a blockbusting run up the middle for 15 yards on the next play, caught another pass for 12 yards and at the end of the completion dropped his shoulder to abruptly stop corner back Lowell Rose in his tracks.

The crowd cheered and US TV commentators laughed before declaring: "Hayne just shredded him".

Tomsula, a burly, tough former defensive lineman coach, smiled when he was asked about the play.

"I'm not going to disrespect the other player (Rose), but I'll tell you Jarryd is a tough guy," Tomsula said.

Adding to his versatility, Hayne showed his tackling skills on the 49ers' punt coverage team. On one kick he ran downfield, eluded the Chargers' blockers and chopped down punt returner Javontee Herndon with an around-the-ankles NRL-style tackle.

Hayne's mother Jodie and sisters Jessi-Lee and Taygan, who flew in from Sydney, were in the 49ers' 68,500-seat Levi's Stadium to watch the former Parramatta Eels ace.

Hayne has become a fan favourite in the San Francisco Bay Area, with 49ers fans raving about their Australian rookie.

In the team store at the northern end of the stadium the only jersey you could buy was Hayne's No.38, with store clerks telling AAP they just received a shipment in.

Fans looking for the jersey of the team's star, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, had to look in other stores in the arena, they said.

0 0
please wait...