JARRYD Hayne has responded to critics with a stellar performance in Gold Coast's 26-14 win over the lowly Wests Tigers on Friday night.
In front of just 6891 fans at Campbelltown Stadium, Hayne bagged two tries and set up another as the Titans ran out five tries to three winners.
The fullback was heavily criticised after his game for NSW in Origin II for taking a number of poor options, but on Friday night he showed exactly why Blues coach Laurie Daley should stick with him for the series decider.
To go with his meat pies, Hayne amassed 15 runs, 147 metres, three tackle breaks and two linebreaks.
Hayne wasn't the only Origin player to back up, with Aaron Woods and Nathan Peats both performing admirably. James Tedesco was ruled out with an ankle injury suffered in the bruising encounter.
Woods racked up an impressive 140 metres and 39 tackles, while Peats topped the tackle count with 50.
But aside from Woods' performance, there weren't many Tigers positives to emerge from the game, with the result further entrenching them on the bottom of the NRL ladder.
The game didn't start well for the Titans, and they immediately put themselves under pressure when Joe Greenwood was tackled over the sideline on just tackle three.
It didn't get much better when a loose ball from Dale Copley resulted in rookie Esan Marsters diving over in the corner after a brilliant David Nofoaluma offload.
Immediately after the try, it was the Titans' turn for a mountain of possession, but they weren't able to crack the defensive line.
They soon found their way back on the Tigers' line midway through the first half after a Tui Lolohea grubber bounced dead, and that time they made the most of the field position when Konrad Hurrell barged his way over.
Just five minutes later, the visitors had their second of the night when William Zillman dived over in the opposite corner.
After an Ash Taylor kick sailed out on the full late in the first half, the Tigers took full advantage when an unorthodox pass from Lolohea put Nofoaluma in the corner. The new Tigers playmaker wasn't able to convert the kick so the Titans took a 10-8 lead into the break.
Both sides had golden opportunities to score shortly after the break but couldn't score.
But in the 50th minute, Hurrell had his second after some quick hands from Hayne put the centre through a hole.
The Tigers were denied a try to Malakai Watene-Zeleniak in the 55th minute for off-side and it proved costly with Hayne scoring his first of the night.
Just four minutes later the NSW Origin representative had his second when he tore the Titans open and stepped his way to the tryline.
Tigers forward Sauaso Sue bagged a late consolation try next to the sticks in the 72nd minute, but it was too little, too late for Ivan Cleary's men.