Nicho Hynes was a shattered man as he tried to comprehend Cronulla’s 38-12 semi-final defeat to South Sydney on Saturday night, but the halfback said the Sharks could be proud of the season they had.
Their brilliant revival was cut short as the Rabbitohs ran riot at Allianz Stadium to set up a preliminary final against the Panthers.
READ MORE: Eels one win away from NRL grand final berth
Hynes, Toby Rudolf and Briton Nikora were among several Cronulla players in tears after the loss to the Rabbitohs.
“It hurts. I’m lost for words, to be honest. They started too well and we just couldn’t catch them,” Hynes told Nine.
“We just gave them too much possession. They were rolling us down the field and I think a couple of my kicks let us down a bit. So, I’ve got to take that and learn from that and (I’ve) just got to be better next year.”
Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now
Hynes was magnificent in his first season at the Sharks, installing himself as a top-line NRL halfback after starring for the Storm at fullback and as a bench utility.
The 26-year-old’s impressive first season at Cronulla coincided with halves partner Matt Moylan’s resuscitation of his career.
Bunnies flyer gets airborne to score
“I’m very proud of the boys. If someone told me I’d be sitting here in a semi-final in the pre-season I would have taken it,” Hynes said.
“I’m very grateful to be in the position I am.
“This team’s been together for a little bit now and we’re going to keep building and come back bigger and better next year.”
Fitzgibbon said in his press conference he was “bitterly disappointed” with the performance against South Sydney.
Razzle-dazzle Rabbitohs stun Sharks
“It’s just not good enough for this time of year,” Fitzgibbon added.
“We got a lesson in fundamentals of footy and we just didn’t respond to anything in the right fashion tonight.
“We had a couple of little squirts of energy there but nothing of note.
“I’m disappointed we finished off the season in that fashion.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!