The sight of running at powerful forwards Nate Myles and Martin Taupau has been something Nicho Hynes has quickly had to adapt too.
At 19, Hynes has been training with the Sea Eagles squad in the lead up to Christmas. It is a just reward for the talented five-eighth, one of the real shining lights in Manly making the 2015 Holden Cup Grand Final.
“I’ve just been use to running at my U20s mates but to now run lines at Nate and Marty is certainly confronting, ’’Hynes said.
“Nate has been awesome. If I am not talking enough, he tells me to speak up.
“Training with the first grade squad has been surreal. Just being around Brett Stewart, Jamie Lyon, and Daly Cherry-Evans, they were players I looked up to as a kid. It’s crazy.
“To be able to watch Daly up close, yet train alongside him is amazing. The way he talks and moves the forwards around is something I need to work on in my game. He is so smooth and calm and if I make a mistake, he just gives me some tips on how to fix it.”
A tall five-eighth for his age, Hynes says he is fortunate Head Coach Trent Barrett can relate to his size.
“Trent has been great, especially with him being a tall five-eighth in his playing days,’’ Hynes said.
“He has taught me to be patient as I tend to overplay my hand. He wants me to run more too because of my size.”
The experience and the intense training Hynes is receiving with the first grade squad will be invaluable when he returns to the U20s under new coach Chad Randall.
Hynes had a memorable season in 2015 with one of his personal highlights being his amazing field goal against the North Queensland Cowboys in the preliminary final at AAMI Park to lift the Sea Eagles into the season decider.
Having earlier been taken off for a rest and with the scores level, Hynes was sent back on in the final minutes for a ‘Pot Black’ set play.
“At training, we had been practising the set and I was the one kicking the field goals. When I was told I was going back on for ‘pot black’, I had to brush the nerves aside and do it for the team. Fortunately, I struck the ball well and the field goal went over,’’ Hynes recalled.
“We all went beserk and got very excited, but we knew we had a couple of minutes left and we managed to hang in there. It was one of the toughest and most exciting matches I have ever played in.”
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