Nicho Hynes' revelation about Braydon Trindall as Sharks face brutal NRL halves decision

The Sharks face a five-eighth dilemma when Braydon Trindall returns.

Sharks star Nicho Hynes has voiced his desire to see Braydon Trindall return to the run-on side but admits he is unsure whether Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon will favour him or his replacement Daniel Atkinson. The Cronulla halfback says he wants to see his troubled teammate back in the NRL "as soon as possible", despite the fact Atkinson has stepped up in the No.6 jersey in his absence.

Trindall was stood down by the Sharks after allegedly failing roadside drug and alcohol tests while driving on an expired licence on April 22 and will face court on May 28. But he has since returned to training and has not been sanctioned by the NRL nor suspended under its no-fault stand-down policy.

Pictured L-R: Nicho Hynes, Braydon Trindall, Daniel Atkinson
The Sharks face a five-eighth dilemma when Braydon Trindall (middle) returns. Image: Getty

That means the halfback is available to play. And the 24-year-old was on standby for the Sharks' Magic Round clash against the Sydney Roosters, with Hynes in doubt for last weekend's match due to a calf injury.

His services, however, weren't required as Hynes managed to pull up fine and guided his ladder-leading side to a 38-30 win. But Trindall's inclusion in the extended squad was a telling move by Fitzgibbon that he is nearing a return to their 17.

With the Sharks' support, Trindall has been consulting specialists to improve his mental health and Hynes is eager to see him back in the team. "I want him to be back as soon as possible," he said. "It'd be hard for him sitting there watching his team win all these games of footy and he's not a part of it. He's got to get his mental health right and when he's playing footy, that's when he's his happiest. Hopefully, he gets back on the park very soon."

Trindall's absence has given Atkinson the chance to start in the halves for the past four games and he has helped Cronulla go four from four in that time. Atkinson had made only two first-grade appearances before this season but showed his quality in the Sharks' gritty win over Melbourne two weekends ago.


In that match, Hynes was sidelined and he led from the front, making it hard for Fitzgibbon to drop him for Trindall. And Hynes says it is his work ethic and willingness to learn that has seen him hit the ground running in the NRL.

"(Atkinson) is the sort of player that just wants to learn," ex-Storm playmaker Hynes said. "He probably annoys me that much that sometimes. It's just like, 'Give me a break!' But that's just who he is, and that's what I did as a young fella, I'd pick Billy Slater's brain, I'd pick Cameron Smith's brain or Cameron Munster's."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Daniel Atkinson and Nicho Hynes of the Sharks celebrate victory during the round 11 NRL match between Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium, on May 18, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Daniel Atkinson and Nicho Hynes were instrumental in the Sharks' round 11 win over the Sydney Roosters.

Fitzgibbon will have a difficult selection call on his hands once Trindall is ready to return. Trindall has spent four previous seasons awaiting a crack in the halves at the Sharks before locking down his spot.

However, his latest period of absence has seen Atkinson produce stellar performances that have seen the side score their two most significant wins of the season against the Storm and Roosters. And Hynes believes either man will do the job for a surging Sharks. "Tricky put us in a good position to be where we are and next man up, Atko, comes in and does just as good a job," Hynes said.

"What Tricky's done for us and where he's worked so hard to get to, a little slip up for him, which he's going to learn his lesson from. Whether that means he doesn't get straight back into our team, I'm not sure. They've both earned their right to be in our 17 each week. We'll just see what happens."

with AAP