Hayne's punt return sparks 49ers score

Former Australian Rugby League star Jarryd Hayne might have been the only bright spot for the 49ers Sunday in Arizona.

Jarryd Hayne might have been the San Francisco 49ers' MVP in Sunday's game in Arizona, where the 49ers were blown out 47-7. Their only score was set up by the former Australian Rugby League star.

Hayne fielded a Cardinals punt late in the second quarter and returned it 37 yards up the right sideline. It was his longest return as a member of the 49ers, including during his explosive preseason, when he averaged 18.1 yards on nine punt returns.

Hayne fielded the short kick on the run from Cardinals punter Drew Butler at his own 43-yard line, made one Cardinal miss, used his blockers and went out of bounds. Three plays later, Colin Kaepernick ran it in from 12 yards out for the 49ers' first and only score of the game.

"Jarryd continues to get better every week. He does. He works his tail off," 49ers coach Jim Tomsula said.

With Kaepernick's four interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns on San Francisco's first two possessions, there weren't many (any?) bright spots, aside from Hayne, for the 49ers. Sunday was only Hayne's seventh football game of his life, while he continues to write a memorable script as he makes his transition from Rugby League to the NFL.


Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.

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