Super League should grow on back of Grand Final, says Jackson Hastings
As much as the footage and photos from the Grand Final may hurt, Jackson Hastings hopes he sees more of them over the coming months.
He recognises St Helens’ match-clinching play as one of the most dramatic moments in sport this year.
And he hopes Super League use their 8-4 defeat and highlights to try and attract new fans or win-back lapsed supporters. Hastings said: “Hopefully Super League can market it well and make it bigger than it already is.
“I hope marketing-wise we can capitalise on it.
“I’ve seen some images, there are some great pictures of St Helens and as sad as it is, there are photos of us boys on the ground, tears in our eyes... and that’s sport, that’s life – you’re not always going to win, sometimes you lose.
“And if you can market that Grand Final it gets the juices flowing for what should be a great rematch on Good Friday, hopefully in front of a packed stadium.”
For Hastings, it was a second successive Grand Final defeat following a loss with Salford in 2019, when he won the Steve Prescott Man of Steel.
As disappointed as he was to lose, he says the way they went toe-to-toe with Saints and prevented them scoring a try for 80 minutes will only strengthen their own self-belief.
“If we didn’t believe we were a great side before the game, we believed it after the game. We gave them one hell of a fight,” said the Great Britain international.
“Credit to them, they’ve been a great aside for three years and I thought we gave them one of the greatest Grand Finals.
“It’s probably the best game I’ve played in and I’m proud to have been a part.
“I’ve had people from Australia call me and say they haven’t seen a game like that in the NRL this year.
“It’s obviously heartbreaking, if you have dreams of winning a game that’s the fairytale you want, but it was almost a nightmare the way it panned out.
“We had our chances and didn’t quite execute – St Helens had one shot and took it.
“You make your own luck in sport and Jack Welsby chased the ball like his life depended on it.”
Hastings plans to return home to Australia in the coming days for a well-earned break and link-up with 2021 recruit Jai Field for “a few coffees” before returning in the new year.