Dyldam Parramatta Eels and NSW Blue fullback Jarryd Hayne has labelled Wednesday night’s Origin opener as the hardest game he’s ever played in.
In only his third appearance in the number one jersey for the Blues, Hayne was named Man of the Match and players' player, scoring a try and setting up a second with winger Brett Morris.
But despite the relief of beginning the series with a win in enemy territory at Suncorp Stadium, Hayne said the NSW sheds were subdued after fulltime.
“There wasn’t a lot of energy to celebrate,” Hayne said.
“It was the hardest game I’ve ever been involved in and you’re just exhausted, so exhausted.”
“The clock seemed like it went forever [in the second half],” Hayne said.
“We just couldn’t get out of our half. You do a lot of drills just defending your line and that’s what it seemed like we were doing that last 20 minutes.”
“We inspired each other and Laurie talked all week about that: you can talk so much about origin and you can talk about what you want to do but it’s all about the action.”
“It was a huge game last night and something we’re all very proud of, but we’re under no illusions that they’re not going to be bigger and better in Game 2.”