Hayne, Sandow star in big Eels NRL win
The Hayne Plane was in full service and the smile back on Chris Sandow's face as Parramatta started putting their 2012 NRL wooden spoon behind them with a 40-10 opening round thumping of the Warriors.
New Eels coach Ricky Stuart had declared his star pair had to shine for his side to be any chance, and no-one sparkled brighter than the much maligned duo - Jarryd Hayne scoring a hat-trick of tries and Sandow piling on 16 points.
"We need those two people to play well every week," Stuart said.
"I said it to (assistant coach) Dean Pay... 'if Chris Sandow and Jarryd Hayne play well today we're going to be a big hope'.
"They're two very important players...and they were both very, very good today.
"Jarryd didn't get a lot of footy last year but Chrissy had a lot of negativity in his life last year and I'm just happy to see Chrissy enjoy his game of footy.
"I said when I first got here I want to put a smile back on Chrissy Sandow's face again ... I think tonight you saw that."
But happy as he was, Stuart was quick to preach caution.
Remember, this was a side humiliated 41-4 by Wests Tigers in a trial match last month.
The win was set up by three unanswered first half tries, but it was the resolve in holding off a Warriors fightback which really pleased Stuart.
Two tries in quick succession to Jacob Lillyman and Dane Nielsen - the second just moment after Sandow had been denied a four-pointer with a controversial obstruction ruling - had the Warriors back in the game at 18-10.
But up stepped Hayne, earning his side a repeat set which led to a Ken Sio four-pointer before showing brilliant support play to grab a quick double of his own to settle the issue.
"This time last year when that try was disallowed by Chrissy in the second half and they came back and scored off that next set of six, we would have folded," Stuart said.
"... we put our foot on their throat.
"But we (only) started today. This is not the end and I promise you there'll be some dark days. This will be a long, long journey."
Not as long as the one new Warriors coach Matthew Elliott appears to be embarking on, his side's cause not helped by the loss of Manu Vatuvei to an ankle injury early in the game.
"If I got bogged down in one performance we'd be in a fair bit of strife, (but) I'm not going to ignore it that's for sure," Elliott said.
"I thought we got too easily distracted, almost like we were more concerned with the scoreboard than what was going on in front of us.
"None of those things are life-threatening."
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