Nicho Hynes has recognized Cronulla‘s subsequent crop of rising stars he believes will help form the membership right into a constant finals drive.
Shattered by the Sharks disappointing finals exit, Hynes declared that after fading when it mattered most, the 2024 season wanted to be “go time” for Cronulla and that strain from the membership’s next-generation of gamers would require the squad to “work like they by no means have earlier than.’’
The reigning Dally M medallist additionally shone a light-weight on his personal 2023 season, by revealing it included challenges he had by no means confronted beforehand in his profession.
Alongside Cronulla teammate Cam McInnes, Hynes was chosen for the primary time in Mal Meninga’s Prime Minister’s XIII that defeated Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby two weeks in the past.
His choice offered a well timed sanctuary for the Sharks halfback following his facet’s harrowing 13-12 loss to the Roosters in week one of many finals.
Hynes had two photographs at area aim to stage the scores within the last levels of the match, each of which had been charged down by Roosters stars James Tedesco and Luke Keary.
“I haven’t watched them but, however I’ve replayed them time and again in my head,’’ Hynes mentioned. “I reckon we may argue the actual fact they could have been offside, however two nice gamers (Tedesco and Keary) got here up with two nice performs.
“The underside line is, we shouldn’t have been in that place. However so far as the sphere targets go, me being the participant I need to be, I have to get deeper (on the sphere) subsequent time and nail the shot.’’
As irritating as Cronulla’s elimination last loss was, it was a significant progress 12 months for Hynes, albeit he nonetheless has solely amassed 47 video games in complete as a halfback.
“I’ve realized a hell of loads about being extra affected person,’’ Hynes mentioned. “Final 12 months, I got here right here and rode that top for therefore lengthy. I received the Dally M and we didn’t lose many video games (ending second in 2022). “I hadn’t misplaced many video games at Melbourne, both.
“However this season was the primary time I used to be challenged with a number of losses, with the strain of signing a brand new long-term deal, taking part in Origin for the primary time after which getting dropped from Origin.
“I’m simply glad it’s occurred now in order that I can be taught from it and cope with it this off season and put issues in place in order that subsequent 12 months, I’m higher for it. I’ve solely performed 50 video games at halfback.
“You have a look at the likes of Nathan (Cleary), Cooper (Cronk), (Johnathan) Thurston, it in all probability took them 100 video games to win a premiership or to be the highest quality halfback they’re.
“I‘m nonetheless studying my commerce and I feel I actually realized the sport administration facet of the halfback position, in direction of the top of this season and being an all-round halfback, so I simply should maintain progressing.’’
Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon made a name few rookie coaches would make; to overtake his halves pairing with seven rounds remaining within the season. The promotion of Braydon Trindall alongside Hynes – relegating Matt Moylan – proved pivotal.
Hynes mentioned he felt for Moylan earlier than difficult Trindall to return in November for the largest pre-season of his profession.
“I really feel just like the final six or seven weeks is what it ought to appear to be for us,’’ Hynes mentioned. “We beat Souths, we beat the Cowboys, who had been each combating for his or her finals spots and we beat a tricky staff within the Titans after which we beat the Raiders and virtually beat the Roosters.
“I believed our defence, even with out loads of our beginning 17 obtainable over that final month, additionally improved.
“I really feel prefer it’s solely going to get higher (with Trindall). We in all probability performed a few of our greatest footy in these moments.
“I really feel for Moyza. We’ve had an excellent 18 months collectively. We’re very comparable, like-minded in assault and it’s onerous – he’s one in every of my finest mates within the staff. It’s unlucky that in a few these video games the place we had been poor, he obtained dropped and Difficult (Trindall) got here in and performed rather well. You’ve obtained to offer credit score to Difficult as a result of he’s bided his time.
“I’m trying ahead to rising the mix. Hopefully Difficult comes again in good order and is prepared for an enormous pre-season, as a result of I do know Moyza can be going simply as onerous.’’
WINNING FINALS ROSTER
Within the wake of the Sharks’ failed last collection, the power of Cronulla’s roster and its functionality to compete with the highest 4 sides has been questioned.
Hynes has his personal ideas. “I feel it’s positively succesful,’’ he mentioned.
“We’re a younger squad, individuals appear to overlook what number of gamers we now have underneath 100 first grade video games in our staff. Our growth from our experiences is essential for us, we should be taught and go up one other stage once more. That’s everybody in our staff.
“I feel we now have the staff to go the additional mile. It’s nearly perception and dealing tougher than we’ve ever labored earlier than.
“It’s ‘go time’ now.
“We’ve had two years collectively, we all know our methods, our processes, it’s about knuckling down now and giving it an actual shake. If we don’t give it a shake subsequent 12 months, then perhaps we’d should tweak some issues.’’
A kind of tweaks may come within the form of selling to the NRL a number of members of Cronulla’s wealthy expertise pool.
This 12 months noticed the emergence of Sharks rookie of the 12 months winner Tom Hazelton and hard-nosed ahead Jesse Colquhoun. There can be much more strain coming from beneath subsequent season within the form of winger Sam Stonestreet, centre Kayal Iro, fullback, centre or five-eighth Kade Dykes, utility Daniel Atkinson and large prop Tuku Hau Tapuha, Hynes mentioned.
“The unlucky factor for lots of our youthful guys was that almost all of NRL alternatives got here by accidents in our pack,’’ Hynes mentioned. “Which is why we obtained to see the likes of Jesse and Tommy Hazelton.
“Whereas within the backline, Ronny (Mulitalo), Jesse (Ramien), Sifa (Talakai) and Sione (Katoa), performed just about each sport.
“I believed Stoney (Stonestreet) would’ve performed NRL this 12 months as a result of his pre-season was unbelievable.
“He’s going to be
higher for the long term, Kayal goes to be higher for the long term, Kade can be again, everybody goes to be extra skilled, with one other pre-season underneath the belt. It’s positively not panic stations, however all of us have to be prepared for an enormous 12 months.’’