Storm sensation Nicho Hynes is statistically one of the NRL’s try assist kings this season but there is one stat that he wants to ditch forever as he prepares to join the Cronulla Sharks next season.
The 25-year-old was 18th man for the Blues in the final game of this year’s State of Origin series and on the bench last year when the Storm won the premiership, but without getting on the park.
He has a premiership ring, but had no influence on the outcome of Melbourne’s 26-20 win over the Panthers.
“I saw a stat on Twitter the other day about how I have won a premiership and State of Origin series without getting on the field. That has lit a fire in my belly. I don’t want to have that stat forever so I will do everything in my power to make sure that never happens again,” Hynes said.
“I was on the bench for the grand final team but I just didn’t get on. I got a ring luckily, but not getting on the field has driven me one hundred per cent to get back there and be a main part of the team on the field while you win.”
After Melbourne’s 48-4 win over the Knights, where Hynes took his try assists to 23 and equal leader for the season, coach Craig Bellamy referred to his fullback as “an unbelievable player”.
He has Bellamy’s complete trust, but Hynes said that wasn’t necessarily the case during last year’s decider when Penrith launched a late comeback after Melbourne led 26-nil.
“What happened at the end there, Craig may not have trusted me at that point. I had only played a handful of games then and had to gain his trust at that point of the game,” Hynes said.
“If we’d scored again we would have been up 30-nil and I probably would have got on. He apologised but it is what it is and you can’t change it now.
“For sure [he trusts me now]. It is just unfortunate that our relationship as coach and player will end at the end of this year. I am really enjoying my time under Craig Bellamy. He has done so much for me on and off the field as a great mentor.”
Hynes will leave behind his Storm teammates in the hopes of becoming a regular starter at Cronulla. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Hynes also insists he will be playing under another great mentor at the Sharks next year after working closely with incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon in NSW Blues camp where Fitzgibbon was an assistant to Brad Fittler.
“Working with Fitzy in the Origin camp was really good and I got to see why he is going to be a really good coach for me next year,” Hynes said.
“When he talks everyone listens as well and he has the respect of all the players. It is hard to make similarities with Craig Bellamy because he is the best coach ever, but they are similar in that they both have a defensive mindset. I am looking forward to [joining Cronulla] but I am really looking forward firstly to finishing this year strong at the Storm.
“I will be doing whatever I can to make sure this team has a good run to the finals whatever position I play in. Whatever the team and Craig Bellamy wants me to do, I am only too happy to do. I owe that to this club that has given me everything.”
The Umina Bunnies product has returned from Origin camp with a spring in his step and inspired by lessons learned from skipper and fullback James Tedesco.
“I learned a lot from Teddy. I noted how he gets the attention of all the players when he talks and as the captain he led a lot of it,” Hynes said.
“I learned plenty about the way he organises the defensive line and how he prepares. He is a great leader and I would love to be like that.
“It was a massive thrill to get the call-up. It wasn’t really expected so I was very grateful and I just learned so much from quality players and coaching staff. It lit another fire in my belly. I don’t ever want to be out of that squad and I will be trying to play my best footy next year to be there.”
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