Rugby League

Hynes leads Cronulla past Roosters in Magic Round classic

May 19, 2024 6:17 am

[Source: NRL]

Cronulla halfback Nicho Hynes has pressed his claims for a State of Origin recall after leading the Sharks past the Roosters in a Magic Round classic.

The clash was a high-quality contest between two premiership contenders who traded blows throughout 80 brutal minutes.

The match was billed as the game of the round during the week and it did not disappoint. Both sides were willing to throw the ball around, resulting in 11 tries and 68 points in an entertaining affair.

Article continues after advertisement

Opposing halves Hynes and Sam Walker were superb for their teams, orchestrating multiple attacking raids and kicking with pinpoint precision.

Ultimately Hynes came out on top, doing his Origin hopes no harm in the process.

The halfback missed last week’s win over the Melbourne with a calf niggle, however he showed no signs of injury on Saturday night.

It took just 70 seconds for the Sharks to open the scoring, Hynes shifting the ball deep inside his own half. A Jesse Ramien kick later followed, Dominic Young unable to clean it up before Will Kennedy gathered and grounded the ball.

It didn’t take long for the Roosters winger to redeem himself, latching on to a Joseph-Aukuso Sua’ali’i flick pass to level the scores.

The Roosters centre’s outstanding start to the match came to a halt midway through the first half when he was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul.

Cronulla capitalised on the extra man when Sione Katoa crossed in the 20th minute, courtesy of another piece of Ramien brilliance.

While they conceded a try, the Roosters were solid throughout the 10-minute period and had plenty of attacking opportunities of their own.

They hit back soon after Sua’ali’i returned, Daniel Tupou leaping above Katoa to snare a Luke Keary bomb and score his 150th try.

A James Tedesco error saw Hynes kick a 40-20 and the Sharks halfback ensured they made the most of the attacking opportunity, throwing a perfect pass to put Teig Wilton through a yawning gap.

Just as they had done all game, the Roosters quickly responded, Junior Pauga crossing to make it 18-18 before he scored in the corner as the half-time siren sounded to ensure his team led by six at the break.

The Sharks hit back immediately after the break to level the scores before Hynes put his team in front with a 59th-minute penalty goal.

The halfback then orchestrated a short-side raid close to the Roosters line, laying the platform for a Ronaldo Mulitalo try that made it 32-24.

There was one more twist left in this match, Young crossing in the corner before Walker nailed the conversion from the sideline to bring his team within two.

An error, however, put Cronulla back on the attack and Tom Hazelton closed out the contest with a barnstorming try.