Dyldam Parramatta Eels Co-Captain Jarryd Hayne says the team has “come a long way” in 2014, and will only get better moving forward.
After two tough losses in the final weeks of the season that see the side miss out on the finals, Hayne says everyone has learned a lot and can only improve.
“As disappointed as we are, when we put things into perspective about where we’ve come from, it’s a long way,” Hayne said.
“To have the opportunity to win the last two games and get into the finals and not be able to do that, we’re disappointed but I want to encourage the boys to learn from it.”
Hayne says the Raiders came out firing in their 33-20 win, and being too strong early made it impossible to come back from.
“I think everything kind of went against us tonight, we couldn’t get anything right in the first half and everything we did seemed to not work,” Hayne said.
“And everything they did - I mean a hooker and front-rower scored, and that’s very uncommon these days - but they did it well and it came off well.”
“We had a run where we scored a couple of tries and were coming back, but it just didn’t come off.”
With the Eels in 2014 being a very young team, Hayne says there are plenty of ways they will be able to use this year as a building block for the years ahead.
“It comes with experience, and these kind of scenarios makes you a better player. You know, Tepai [debuting], Junior Paulo and Sefa Paulo had breakout years, Will Hopoate in his first year back in first grade, Corey and Chrissy working together [for the first time], Isaac De Gois joining us halfway though the year; we had a lot of things going against us,” he said.
“But for us to be able to soak it up and beat some big-name teams, I think we beat everyone in the top eight this year, [and] those are some positive things from our point of view.”