NRL 2024: Mitchell Moses backs Nicho Hynes to star for the Blues in Origin

Mitchell Moses says Nicho Hynes “deserves the chance” to play at half-back for the Blues, with the returning Eels star backing his country to get the job done after making an incredible return from injury after more than two months out.

Parramatta No. 7 is a current NSW halfback but was not available for selection in the series opener after breaking his left foot in round three.

Moses would have been the obvious choice to play with Nathan Cleary out injured, but no matter how hard he pushed for an early return, it was not meant to be as Hynes led the side around the park despite having his own problem with calves.

“I hope they win. I think the squad that Madge (Blues coach Michael Maguire) has picked is amazing,” Moses said, with the Eels star likely to be considered for the second game if NSW don’t win next week.

“I have to play well here and these things will take care of themselves, but I really hope they win. I wish them all the best.

“He’s picked a great side and I think they’ll get the job done.

“It’s a big opportunity for him (Hynes). He won the Dally M a few years ago and he’s been playing great so he deserves the chance. He’ll go there and do the jersey proud.”

There was hope that Moses could return by the Magic Round to get some games in and impress the Blues selectors, but the Eels were never going to rush their best player back until he was fully fit.

“I tried to push him and I tried to come back early to give myself every chance to get out,” he explained.

“It was tough watching him from the sidelines but I gave him every chance to try and come back early but it just wasn’t ready.

“I’m just happy inside that I gave it my all and tried to come back earlier. I have a screw inside which is a little annoying. I’ll probably feel it for the next few weeks.”

You wouldn’t have known he had been out for so long as Moses and the returning Clint Gutherson inspired the Eels to just their fourth win of the season.

Moses set the tone early on with a booming tackle that caught Will Kennedy just outside his own try line, while his running game is as strong as ever as he sprinted down the short side to set up Bailey Simonsson’s try.

“I’ve probably only had one kick in the last 10 weeks and that was on Monday,” he revealed.

“To hit that (first shot) felt pretty good. I just had to be out there and be a voice and try to participate as much as possible.

“To be honest, I probably wasn’t very happy with my game. There are areas (I can improve) because I put one on full blast and I’m probably getting used to the speed of the game.

“I think I can be a lot better in some areas, but I just had to spend 80 minutes and just be the voice. We were desperate and that’s what we had to be.”

His stay on the sidelines worsened when Brad Arthur was sacked as coach, leaving Moses feeling powerless to try and save the job of a man who had raised his game over the years.

“It was really hard, especially with what happened (to Brad),” he said.

“I was helpless to see the coach I’ve had almost since I came to the club and on such good terms with him. He taught me a lot about football and I’m probably not the player I am today without him.

“It was quite difficult to watch from the sidelines and be helpless and not be able to help at all, and then see what happened.

“It’s disgraceful and I had to move on and we had to move on as a club. Today (Thursday) was the first step forward and now we have to keep winning.”

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