Aussie Jarryd Hayne Impresses in First Appearance with the San Francisco 49ers

 Source: AFP

The former NRL superstar made a two-yard gain with his first touch of the ball but lit up the game with his second touch, a spectacular 53-yard run.

It was one of a handful of impressive highlights from Hayne, who announced his departure from rugby league almost 12 months ago to pursue his dream of playing American football at the highest level.

The 53-yard run was the longest rushing effort in the game. helped by some excellent blocking by the 49ers offensive line that cleared an avenue for Hayne to burst through with his trademark pace.

Once he was in space, Hayne put an expert left foot step to bypass one defender.

Though clipped, he regained his balance and continued to charge to the endzone, only to be collected by two Texans players and forced out of bounds at the 10-yard line.

Thumping his chest and hi-fiving teammates after the blistering play, Hayne announced his arrival to the NFL in style.

At the running back position, Hayne finished with five touches for a total of 63-yards, more yards gained than any other running back on the field in Houston.

Lining up on special teams, Hayne had two punt returns for an average 12-yard return and a long return of 13 yards.

But it was as a kick-off returner that Hayne had his other major highlight of the game. Receiving the ball at the start of the second half, Hayne caught the ball in his endzone and took it 33 yards upfield, showing his rugby league-esque ability to switch the ball between his hands while palming off defenders.

With cuts imminent ahead of the regular season proper, Hayne has given his chances of claiming a spot on the 53-man roster a massive boost.

The next pre-season game for the 49ers will be at home in Levi’s Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday August 24 in the morning, Australian time.

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.