Hynes to bring Storm NRL formula to Sharks

Nicho Hynes will make a full-time switch to halves after his NRL move from Melbourne to Cronulla.
Nicho Hynes will make a full-time switch to halves after his NRL move from Melbourne to Cronulla.

New Cronulla playmaker Nicho Hynes hopes to bring the winning qualities of his breakout year at Melbourne to the Sharks as he makes a permanent transition from fullback to the halves.

Hynes was one of Melbourne's best on their run to a minor premiership and only lost one game in which he started all throughout the 2021 season.

Ryan Papenhuyzen's concussion-enforced hiatus gave him a sustained shot at first grade action where his electric form led to new Cronulla coach Craig Fitzgibbon handing the 25-year-old a three-year deal with the Sharks.

"Fitzy has brought me here as a half," he said.

"Whether it's as a 6 or 7, it doesn't really matter.

"I played both of them growing up. I played fullback in my NRL career and a few games in the halves.

"It's not unfamiliar, I've played there my whole life. I like to run the footy but I also like to set the players outside me up as well."

Hynes is one of Cronulla's two new recruits from the Storm, with lock Dale Finucane also heading to the Sharks.

Mindful of the theory that Storm players don't tend to hit the same heights once they leave the guidance of Craig Bellamy, Hynes hopes the pair can bring some of the standards set at Melbourne to the Shire.

"You don't want to put expectations on this team, but the end goal is to win a premiership and play finals footy," he said.

"I've been fortunate to do that at the Storm.

"Hopefully me and Dale can bring some of those qualities to make this team into a winning team."

Hynes has often been open about his long journey to make it at NRL level after getting released by Manly as a junior.

He worked his way up through the Queensland Cup before joining Melbourne, and has sought the advice of a mindset coach this off-season to help him deal with the pressures of playing in the NRL.

"When I first came in at the Storm and I made a mistake or one of the boys blew up at you for doing something wrong I'd take that and be out of the game for the next 10 minutes," he added.

"It's something I've worked on and I want to continue to improve that.

"I'm coming here as a main man and the team can't afford me to not have me in the game for 80 minutes at a time."

Australian Associated Press