Jarryd Hayne’s debut as a San Francisco 49ers player on Tuesday night did not go as well as expected.
It seemed the Hayne plane was going to crash before it had even taken off after he was put on as punt returner in the first quarter.
Trouble locating the ball as it headed in his direction meant Hayne fumbled the punt allowing Vikings players to swarm the ball and turn it over.
ESPN commentator Trent Dilfer was not impressed by Hayne’s first opportunity.
“There’s a bit of wind in the stadium tonight but that is an inexcusable mistake for Jarryd Hayne”.
The official Sports Center twitter account had their say on his initial performance.
“Not the best start for the rookie rugby-convert Jarryd Hayne. He muffs his first punt return and the Vikings recover”.
49ers beat writer, Cam Inman was somewhat sympathetic towards Hayne and the enormous Aussie following watching his every move.
“Sorry to break this to you Australia but Jarryd Hayne’s first official NFL touch: he fumbled a punt return, through arms and off his left knee,” he said.
It could have been the end of the night for Hayne and the Hayne plane mightn’t have taken off again. But coach Tomsula injected him into the game again for a few rare opportunities and Hayne did his best to make amends.
His highlights were a pass reception in which he then proceeded to step a Vikings defender as Aussie’s have been so accustomed to seeing from him in the NRL for Parramatta.
His final touch of the game being a reminder to 49er fans of what he is capable of with a rush in the 3rd quarter running around and over would be tacklers before being brought down for a 9 yard gain.
Luckily for Hayne, there’s still plenty of time in the season for the Hayne plane to fly high.