Dyldam Parramattta Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne says Wednesday night’s State of Origin series win is the pinnacle of his career so far.
In his 19th Origin appearance, Hayne said ending the Maroons’ eight-year reign was a relief, but the celebrations weren’t quite at full swing yet.
“It’s awesome, it’s the highest achievement,” Hayne said.
“It’s been a long journey and a long time but we’re going to enjoy it. It’s a bit surreal at the moment but come Game 3 I’m sure we’re going to really celebrate and it’ll really sink in.”
In a game that saw Brent Tate come from the field with a knee injury, and Eels centre Will Hopoate struggling with a possible shoulder injury, Hayne said it was no surprise to see players continue to battle through the pain on the Origin field.
“That’s Origin,” Hayne said.
“It’s a given. It’s what we do and what we’re meant to do.”
“There was a lot more niggle than usual. But we went with them and we didn’t take a backwards step.”
“I think our attack hurt us a bit tonight and they ‘Dd’ up (defended) a lot differently to what they usually do and we adjusted, and I think that’s why ‘Hokko’ (Trent Hodkinson) scored that try.”