Nicho Hynes in NRL horror show as Api Koroisau detail comes to light after Tigers win

Koroisau's heroics for the Tigers eased the pressure on coach Benji Marshall.

Cronulla halfback Nicho Hynes may have seriously dented his State of Origin hopes after a nightmare game against the Api Koroisau-inspired Wests Tigers on Saturday night. Following weeks of criticism at coach Benji Marshall over his commitment to the Tigers coaching role, the side delivered one of their best performances in a long time to run out 32-6 winners at a packed Leichhardt Oval.

Tigers captain Koroisau led from the front in an inspired performance that was all the more incredible after it emerged after the game that he'd been battling a gastro bug in the lead-up to the NRL showdown. The Tigers captain looked dangerous all game and set up two tries, before leaving the field to a standing ovation with 13 minutes to play.

Pictured left is Nicho Hynes and Wests Tigers captain Api Koroisau on the right.
Nicho Hynes had a game to forget against the Wests Tigers as Api Koroisau ran riot for the home side. Pic: NRL/Getty

At one point, he could be seen dry-reaching near the try line after missing an opportunity to grab a four-pointer of his own. Koroisau was also flawless with the boot, kicking five out of five conversions to go with one penalty goal, with Marshall praising the toughness and resolve of his skipper to push through illness and lead from the front.

"That's the standard we've set," Marshall said. "He's not good, but the thing is Api would have played no matter what. He wouldn't want a big deal made of it, but it's a big effort from him."

Justin Olam also excelled in his first game at centre since joining the Tigers from Melbourne. Olam scored a try and busted six tackles in a promising sign that he can add some extra firepower to the Tigers' left side of attack. The 26-point win also provided vindication for Marshall, who has been forced to deny recent reports that he arrives at training well after other staff members and does not dedicate enough of his time to the head coaching role.

Marshall will be hoping the Tigers' victory provides a springboard for the rest of the season as they look to avoid a third straight wooden spoon in 2024. While the impressive victory has certainly lifted the mood at the joint-venture club, the Sharks and superstar playmaker Hynes will be licking their wounds after one of their worst performances in recent memory.

Nicho Hynes has a shocker in Sharks loss

The loss was Cronulla's equal-fourth worst under coach Craig Fitzgibbon and the side only managed a mediocre 68 per cent completion rate. It was also a game to forget for Origin hopeful Hynes, who endured an absolute nightmare after missing seven tackles, dropping the ball twice, throwing an intercept and sending two kicks out on the full.

Hynes has spoken openly about his "heartbreak" at being dropped after playing just a handful of minutes in his Blues Origin debut last year. The Cronulla half admitted he was not adequately prepared to slot into the NSW utility role before being guilty of a crucial missed tackle that led to a go-ahead try from the Maroons.

Seen here, Nicho Hynes being steamrolled trying to make a tackle in Cronulla's bis loss to the Tigers.
Nicho Hynes is steamrolled trying to make a tackle in Cronulla's bis loss to the Tigers. Pic: Getty

Hynes played no further part in the Origin series and the axing rattled his confidence after the playmaker suffered a dip in form at club level. Hynes has vowed to use his Origin disappointment as motivation for the 2024 season but after Saturday night's horror showing, many fans feel like the Cronulla No.7 may have blown his chances of earning an Origin recall.

Fans were also sharing the same joke on social media that Hynes would scoop the Dally M voting after being awarded the maximum six points in round one against the Warriors. Many critics questioned the Dally M voting that declared Hynes to be the best player on the park in that game, with the Sharks star copping more backlash after his display in the loss to the Tigers.

with AAP