DARWIN (Reuters) - An Australian cattle rancher said he resorted to poking a crocodile in the eyes after it jumped out of an outback water hole and grabbed his arm while his friend slept nearby. The friend eventually woke up and shot the 3.5 metre (10 foot) crocodile from point blank range in the underbelly, a nurse who attended to the man's wounds told local reporters. The attack occurred as Joseph Wilson, 36, was fetching water. "Joe said the croc was trying to pull him into the water and he was on the bank pulling back with his legs wedged into the roots of trees in a sort of tug of war," the nurse said. "He said he stuck his finger or thumb into the croc's eyes but that didn't seem to do anything and the croc went into a death roll with his hand still in its mouth." Wilson was in a "better than stable" condition after eight hours of treatment, a spokeswoman for the Royal Darwin Hospital said.