x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Fullback Hayne is electric as the Eels wriggle into the grand final

Jarryd Hayne was at his enigmatic best as he guided the Parramatta Eels into the NRL grand final at the expense of the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Jarryd Hayne was at his enigmatic best as he guided the Parramatta Eels into the NRL grand final at the expense of the Canterbury Bulldogs yesterday. The 21-year-old fullback laid on two tries in the 22-12 triumph, in front of a record crowd of nearly 75,000 fans in Sydney. The performance capped a great few days for Hayne, who has reportedly agreed a A$2million (Dh6.3m) four-year contract which he will sign next week.

The only negative for him came when he was put on report just six minutes in after his knee connected with Bryson Goodwin's head as he slid to try to prevent a try. The result meant that the Bulldogs' Lebanese-born Hazem al Mazri, the highest point scorer in NRL history, missed out on the chance to end his great career with a grand final appearance. The Eels will face the winners of today's match between the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm in next Saturday's finale.

Meanwhile, in the Super League play-offs tonight, Hull KR face Wigan in the north of England. In rugby union, the Australian Rugby Union have officially lodged an application from Melbourne to become the 15th Super rugby franchise when the competition expands in 2011. There is one other competitor for the additional Super rugby licence - the Southern Kings from the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

The successful bidder, who will play in a five-team Australian conference, will be announced on October 21. The other 10 teams will be contained in two five-team conferences based in New Zealand and South Africa. In England, the Leicester Tigers have called in the heavy artillery as they seek their first try of the Guinness Premiership season. The international trio of Julian White, Lewis Moody and Aaron Mauger will all make their first starts against Bath at the Recreation Ground. England captain Steve Borthwick (rib) is fit to play for Saracens.

pradley@thenational.ae