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Hynes reflects on perfect audition for Blues bench

If there was an audition for who would make a reliable bench utility for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues team, then Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks halfback Nicho Hynes gave a worthy performance against the Warriors last weekend.

When his team was under the pump from the Will Kennedy send-off in the 16th minute, and then Jesse Ramien’s sin-bin midway through the second half, Hynes stepped up and showed his versatility in doing so.

He topped the Sharks for runs making 20 bursts for 164 metres, two line-break assists, two try assists, five tackle-busts, scored a try, kicked four conversions and a field goal.

And the 25-year-old did it playing virtually three positions – halfback, fullback and middle forward. Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon has named Hynes at fullback for the NRL’s Magic Round match against Canberra Raiders after Kennedy accepted a two-game ban for his high tackle.

“I haven’t run that much as I haven’t played fullback in a while,” Hynes said.

“But I also had to end up defending in the middle when we were down to 11 men, which is worse!

“Whatever it takes to get the job, I had to do.”

That could be the mantra Brydens Lawyers coach Brad Fittler expects from Hynes, who was part of the extended Blues squad in 2021 after filling in at No.1 admirably for the Melbourne Storm when Ryan Papenhuyzen was out for two months with concussion.

This year Hynes has displayed his game-controlling skills playing No.7 for the Sharks inside True Blue Matt Moylan at No.6.

Hynes’ performance on Sunday earned him the halfback’s jersey in the Team of the Week for nswrl.com.au.

The halves pair upped the intensity in getting their Sharks teammates on the front foot after Kennedy’s departure.

“We’re both ex-touch footy players so we just kept swinging the ball around side to side as much as we could to tire their big boys out,” Hynes said.

“Moz was unbelievable at doing that and I love playing with him.”

As for being a part of the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues crew once more, Hynes would crave that chance as well.

“It would mean the world to me to get a spot on the bench there for NSW,” Hynes said.

“It’s something every kid dreams of, but there’s some great players out there who are putting their hands up.

“All I’ve got to do is keep playing some good footy and worry about the Sharks.

“If I got a spot on the Blues bench I’d be very happy as I just want to be around that squad again.

“It was an unreal experience last year so seeing my name get thrown up this year is pretty cool.”

Fittler names his 2022 team after Round 12 for the Ampol State of Origin opener at Accor Stadium in Sydney on 8 June.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.