It was a moment 19-year-old Nicho Hynes will never forget.
Holden Cup Preliminary Final, AAMI Park, Saturday, September 26, 2015. The opposition – the second placed Nth Qld Cowboys.
24-all, 76th minute, grand final spot for the taking.
The play: Hooker Hugh Pratt throws a dummy half pass to five-eighth Will Pearsall, who fires the ball to Hynes. He shrugs off a chaser, and calmly, from 18 metres out, lands a field goal for a 25-24 lead.
The Cowboys throw everything at the Sea Eagles in the dying minutes, but to no avail. The Sea Eagles cause a ‘huge upset’ to move into this Sunday’s season decider against Penrith.
“Nicho did very well under pressure. He went on specifically for it and stepped up when it was needed’’ revealed Sea Eagles Coach David Heath.
The field goal was a relief for Heath.
“We finally got one. We’ve had three draws this season because we couldn’t kick a field goal at the end,” he said
That’s right, 24 four matches in regular season, three finals matches – one field goal!
Prior to the finals series, Hynes played 23 matches, scored six tries for 24 points.
His only other points before the field goal was a try in the loss to Penrith in the qualifying final.
Heath said Hynes provides plenty of options for the team, having covered full-back, five-eighth and half-back this season.
“Nicho is a little bit of a victim in that he has the ability to play different positions,” Heath said.
“Next year, he will probably be the team’s half-back. This year we had three halves and they are all very good footballers in their own right. It is about trying to get that balance within your team.
“The impressive thing about Nicho is that whatever he has had to do, he has taken it on and he has been positive.”
None more so than ‘that’ field goal.