This has to be a joke... right? WAYNE Bennett's plan to nullify Parramatta superstar Jarryd Hayne has been slammed as "not in the spirit of the game", but the Dally M medallist says he's powerless to stop other teams from employing the negative tactics. Former Test prop Steve Roach claimed St George Illawarra's strategy of kicking the ball over the dead-ball line was one of the biggest blights on the game he's seen. "If you deliberately kick the ball dead, it's just taking Hayne out of the game," Roach said. "The Titans did it with Billy Slater. People go to our games to watch people attack. We're trying to entertain fans. Some of the back three at every club are the most exciting ball-runners in the game. "On one hand we stop the down-town charges, which is good because that gives the back three a chance to run with the ball, but on the other hand we don't take any notice of blokes deliberately kicking the ball dead in-goal. It's not in the spirit of the game. It's going against what the game is." During the clash at Parramatta Stadium, which the Dragons won 18-12, Jamie Soward and Nathan Fien combined to send the ball dead in-goal four times. Instead of Hayne retrieving the football with space in front of him, the Eels were forced into a 20m restart against a fully-set Dragons defence. The decision by the Dragons to take three penalty goals - which took up almost six minutes of playing time - was also brought into question. After the match, Eels coach Daniel Anderson claimed Soward's boot was the difference between the two sides while Parramatta legend Peter Sterling applauded Bennett's tactics. But Hayne said the ploy was clearly an attempt to stifle his explosive running game. "I can't do a thing about it if that's what they want to do," Hayne said. "I'm not sure if teams will keep doing it. I suppose I can only worry about what I can do - or what I can't. That's their game plan. It's something that they're risking and I think it shows that they don't want to kick it to me." Figures from Fox Sports Stats show Hayne's impact on Friday night was negated by Soward's raking boot. He made just 43m in the contest after averaging 80m per game last season. Hayne's Parramatta team-mate Justin Poore, who spent last season under Bennett at St George Illawarra, revealed the tactic was a deliberate move that had emerged more than 12 months ago. Asked if it was a ploy by Bennett to keep Hayne away from the football, Poore replied: "Oh, most definitely, yeah. "We did the same thing last year. Haynsey is a good player and you want to keep good players away from the footy. I'm sure every team will want to keep it away from him, so it's going to happen a lot more." But despite calls by Roach and other greats of the game for the NRL to act immediately by penalising similar tactics in future, chief operating officer Graham Annesley said it was unlikely to implement any rule changes during the season. "I don't believe that is feasible," Annesley said last night. "We had an off-season conference where all players and coaches had the opportunity to raise any concerns and that wasn't raised. "Coaches are always going to do their best to try to out-smart the opposition and just as it might have been used against Parramatta last week, it might be Parramatta who use the same tactics this week. "Tactics are part of the game. If a trend develops, we've constantly demonstrated we're prepared to address that. But not when the season is underway."