Nicho Hynes praised for post-match act amid 'irresistible' Origin debate

The No.7 was all class in his post-match speech for winning the inaugural Paul Green award.

Nicho Hynes speaks after the match and Hynes passes the ball.
Nicho Hynes (pictured left) has shown his class on and off the field after winning the inaugural Paul Green award for a five-star performance against the Cowboys. (Images: Channel Nine)

Sharks ace Nicho Hynes has shown his class on and off the field after winning the inaugural Paul Green medal for a five-star performance against the Cowboys on Thursday night. Hynes once again showed why his case to become the Blues five-eighth in State of Origin is too hard to ignore with a try, a try assist, five tackle busts, a linebreak assist and 16 tackles in the 44-6 demolition.

The Sharks dominated from the outset and it only took 60 seconds for Hynes to stamp his mark on the game and set-up a try for Siosifa Talakai. Hynes left Chad Townsend behind and offloaded to put Talakai over with a silky pass.

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"[Look at this] From this brilliant young playmaker," Phil Gould said in awe of Hynes' opening effort. And the Sharks didn't stop their with the left edge causing the Cowboys problems all night in a dominant display.

Hynes now leads the competition with 10 try assists, despite having only played five games. And coach Craig Fitzgibbon was full of praise for his halfback.

"Nicho controlled the game and was outstanding," said Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon, who decided the winner of the award. "We needed to do that tonight to mount pressure and defend the way we wanted to, I thought it was fitting it was the Sharks No.7 who won it."

Fox Sports commentator Dan Ginnane described the Sharks' backline as 'irresistible' on a night that showed Cronulla are real contenders in 2023.

Hynes spoke after the game of winning the inaugural medal to commemorate the late Green. The former Cowboys premiership-winning coach played for the Sharks to start his NRL career before moving north.

He famously coached the Cowboys to their first and only premiership in 2015 but sadly died by suicide in August last year. Hynes was all class in his post-match message as he paid tribute to Green and his legacy.

"It is a crazy feeling right now because I know how much he means to everyone here...and once again thanks to the family and everyone, make sure we all check on each other because we never know what is going on. So thank you very much," Hynes said to end his speech.

Nicho Hynes, pictured here with Paul Green's wife and children.
Nicho Hynes embraced Paul Green's wife and children. Image: Getty

Hynes also posed for photos with Green's family, embracing his heartbroken wife and children. Fans were left in awe of Hynes' on and off field class after the game and called for the No.7 to play his first State of Origin match.

Cowboys woes continue against the Sharks

After reaching last year's preliminary final, Payten's men are struggling to replicate their 2022 form and the heavy loss to the Hynes-inspired Sharks leaves them with a 3-6 record. Chad Townsend (calf) went off in the second half and could join fellow co-captain Jason Taumalolo on the sidelines for next week's Magic Round meeting with the Sydney Roosters.

Fullback Tom Chester also suffered an ACL injury and could be joined on the sidelines by Jeremiah Nanai (hip-drop) and Coen Hess (trip) after both were sin-binned at PointsBet Stadium.

Nicho Hynes looks on during a game.
Nicho Hynes (pictured) has once again put his hand up for a State of Origin debut. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) (Mark Metcalfe via Getty Images)

"Our tries conceded didn't come from systems breakdown, it came down to one-on-one misses," Payten said. "I'm not offering up any excuses. That was far from NRL standard."

Payten said Townsend was taken off as a precaution after battling a niggling issue. The Sharks' sizzling attack was matched by their ferocious defence, something they have struggled to recapture at times in 2023.

with AAP

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