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Mitch Moses says Nicho Hynes was a ‘scapegoat’ for NSW State of Origin loss after being named to replace the dumped Blues halfback

  • Queensland dominated Origin I and NSW played a man less
  • Coach Michael Maguire therefore made five changes to the team
  • Moses replaces Hynes at halfback and is attracted to the rival playmaker

NSW halfback Mitchell Moses has offered his support to Nicho Hynes following his axing from State of Origin, labeling the ousted Blues No.7 a ‘scapegoat’ in the media.

After playing in a Blues team reduced to 12 men for 72 minutes in the first game, Hynes fell victim to a brutal shake-up overseen by Michael Maguire as the NSW coach attempted to salvage the series.

The Cronulla playmaker has made way for Moses, who will make only his fourth Origin appearance in Melbourne next Wednesday as the Blues look to draw level with the Maroons.

Moses sympathized with Hynes’ plight, but the circumstances of the series opener meant he had little chance to show he belonged at Origin level.

“I’ll definitely contact him after this, that’s bad luck,” Moses said.

“I feel sorry for him because he had 12 men for the whole game and he was pretty much made a scapegoat.

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‘I feel sorry for him… I’ve got my chance and I have to grab it with both hands.’

Parramatta halfback Mitchell Moses has been picked to save the Blues in the second State of Origin match

Sharks halfback Nicho Hynes was dumped after the Blues hammered Queensland in the first Origin clash in Sydney

Sharks halfback Nicho Hynes was dumped after the Blues hammered Queensland in the first Origin clash in Sydney

Blues coach Michael Maguire made five changes to the New South Wales squad with the series on the line in Melbourne

Blues coach Michael Maguire made five changes to the New South Wales squad with the series on the line in Melbourne

Maguire is a long-time fan of Moses and would likely have given him the No. 7 jersey for the first match were it not for the Parramatta playmaker missing two months of NRL action with a foot injury.

Moses looked solid if unspectacular in his three goals for the Eels but insisted there were no lingering fitness issues.

After a Test season for 15th-placed Parramatta, Moses described the prospect of entering the NSW camp as a “breath of fresh air”.

At halfback, Moses will likely be tasked with unlocking the Blues’ attacking weapons.

Both NSW tries in game one came from kicks and Moses is keen to unleash recalled center Latrell Mitchell on Queensland.

“I think our job as half is to get the ball to him where he likes it,” Moses said.

“He’s a quality player and he was obviously picked for a reason.

‘He has such a big influence on a team.

“He has such a big influence on the team and he just has that charisma that he loves these types of games.”

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