His NFL pre-season debut caused a sensation around the globe, but Jarryd Hayne isn’t getting carried away just yet.
The former Parramatta NRL star boosted his chances of making San Francisco’s 53-man final roster for the NFL season which kicks off for the 49ers against Minnesota on September 14.
Playing as a running back and kick returner, Hayne impressed commentators and the 49ers alike with a terrific display in the 23-10 loss to Houston on Sunday (AEST).
The 27-year-old former rugby league fullback led both teams in rushing yards and kickoff returns.
Hours after the game, Hayne posted his thoughts via an Instagram post.
“Lift off in Houstan (sic)! First taste of the NFL and it couldn’t of gone any better,” Hayne wrote.
“Excited just to be given the opportunity at the @49ers I’m old n wise enough to not get carried away with 1 game.
“I’ve also learned to embrace every moment of life n the experiences that come my way. It’s so overwhelming the support I’ve received back in the Southern Hemisphere from Australia to Fiji to the pacific islands, NZ n so on. Thank you.”
Hayne also made an average of 12 yards from punt returns in the 49ers in the loss to the Texans.
Early in the second quarter, he produced a 53-yard run, breaking through a hole in the left-side Texans’ defence before stepping inside a would-be tackler and brushing off another, before going out of bounds.
The run led to the 49ers only touchdown of the game when Blaine Gabbert threw to Garrett Celek to give the 49ers a 10-8 lead going into halftime.
Hayne’s play certainly impressed one of his biggest fans as San Francisco head coach Jim Tomsula delivered glowing praise for the Australian and said the best was to come.
“This was our first look at him in live action and we’re excited for him,” Tomsula said.
“Jarryd’s a professional athlete. He did some good things, but it’s the first pre-season game and we’ve got to grow from here.”
Hayne even earned the praise of the NFL who tweeted the video of his bullocking 33-yard kickoff return to their 12.7 million followers.
Tomsula and the NFL weren’t the only ones impressed, the man himself was happy with his first taste of real action.
The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys next weekend in a pre-season clash in Texas.
San Francisco then play Denver and San Diego in their final two hitouts before the regular season opener against the Vikings.