Craig Fitzgibbon, the coach of the Sharks, recently commended halfback Nicho Hynes for his openness and honesty. Hynes gave a candid interview, discussing his harsh exclusion from the State of Origin and its impact on his club performance.
The current holder of the Dally M Medal, Hynes, has continually posted impressive statistics this season despite being less effective in recent performances. This has coincided with the Sharks‘ journey from being in the top four to currently fighting for a spot in the finals.
In the team’s recent victory against South Sydney in Perth, Hynes displayed improved performance alongside Braydon Trindall, his halves partner. Fitzgibbon emphasised that the team’s overall performance should be prioritised over individual plays.
Fitzgibbon commended Hynes’ braveness in being accountable and taking responsibility. He also mentioned that Hynes has been diligently working hard towards betterment. The coach highlighted the unfairness of attributing the inconsistency of the Sharks solely to Hynes, stating that these discrepancies include everyone and the team needs to focus on improving their performance.
Throughout his career, Hynes has faced numerous off-field issues. Nevertheless, this is the first time he has been under such scrutiny during his remarkably smooth past few seasons.
In reference to Hynes’ Tuesday press conference, Fitzgibbon noted his vulnerability in openly discussing recent challenges. Fitzgibbon praised Hynes saying, “Nicho is always open and candid with the media, this is his true self and we don’t want that to ever change”.
Hynes’ approach towards these hurdles has gained Fitzgibbon’s admiration, who spoke positively of the player’s consistent work ethic. Fitzgibbon assured that players who work as hard as Hynes usually come out stronger from the adversities.
While Hynes is expected to play a key role when the Sharks play against the Titans, the team is also motivated by veteran Wade Graham‘s announced retirement. Looking back, Graham became the third Shark to reach 250 games for the club last week alongside Paul Gallen and Andrew Ettingshausen, two club legends.
Fitzgibbon has expressed his belief that Graham should be highly regarded, just like Gallen and Ettingshausen. Fitzgibbon also indicated Graham’s potential to become a coach in the future, praising his significant role in securing the club’s only premiership win and throughout his 13-year-long career. The coach labelled him as one of the club’s most influential recruits in its history.