Jarryd Hayne made a nightmare start to his hotly-anticipated NFL debut, but the former Parramatta superstar bounced back to put in a solid performance in the San Francisco 49ers’ dour 20-3 victory over Minnesota Vikings at Levi’s Stadium.
It seemed all eyes in Australia were on Hayne for the kick-off shortly after midday (AEST).
— Sally Fitzgibbons (@Sally_Fitz) September 15, 2015
— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) September 15, 2015
But his initial foray as a punt returner didn’t go according to plan, misjudging a high kick and coming up with a fumble and turnover. After gobbling up dozens of similar catches on a weekly basis for the Eels – and receiving plaudits for his poise under the high ball in his adopted game – the gaffe was a spectacular anti-climax.
But Hayne redeemed himself after replacing injured star recruit Reggie Bush as a running back, making a run yard carry before producing a big step to make seven yards on his first pass reception.