Edwards injury, Hynes form a selection headache for NSW

George Clarke |

Nicho Hynes’  team place is under threat after he failed to make an impact against Queensland.
Nicho Hynes’ team place is under threat after he failed to make an impact against Queensland.

Dylan Edwards has cast doubt over his hopes of replacing James Tedesco in the NSW State of Origin side for game two as Michael Maguire looks set to grapple with key selection decisions over the make-up of his Blues spine.

Nicho Hynes’ underwhelming performance in Wednesday’s 38-10 loss will invite further questions over the halfback’s involvement in the NSW side heading to Melbourne aiming to keep the series alive on June 26.

Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses is fit to take over if Maguire needs a spark in the No.7 jersey, and he will also have to consider a replacement at centre for Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii, with Latrell Mitchell and Matt Burton the likely contenders.

Maguire refused to directly address Hynes’ display straight after the loss, and continued that trend at a snap press conference on Thursday morning.

By contrast the Blues coach singled out several other players for praise after Hynes endured a mixed bag in his first Origin start.

The Sharks playmaker, who was one of the few NSW players not to front up to the media on Wednesday night, showed his class with a magical cross-field kick to set up Zac Lomax for a try.

But there were a handful of moments he would want back, most notably his early grubber-kick that gifted Queensland a seven-tackle set to pave the way for Ben Hunt’s opening try of the night.

Asked if Hynes would deserve another chance, Maguire said he wouldn’t rush into a decision.

“I’ve got to have time to review the game and have a look at what I see,” Maguire said on Thursday.

“I’m not going to make any comments about any player.

“I’ll talk to the players first and I’ll try to do that and get around them all and talk about their experiences and what they felt out there.

“When you’re playing with 12 men, it shifts a little bit and different pressures come at the opportunity of how you play.”

Hynes is not the only player set to come under the microscope, with Tedesco unassured of his place in the side after being parachuted in to replace an injured Edwards at fullback at the last minute.

Edwards (quad) has been named as part of Penrith’s extended squad for Sunday’s meeting with Manly, but when asked if that was a realistic proposition, the fullback said: “I don’t think so.

“I’m going to have to see how my body responds to the rehab and go from there.”

Edwards said he had no fixed return date in mind, and his lack of involvement before game two could give Tedesco a shot at redemption at the MCG.

The fullback bagged NSW’s opening try but forced his hand when he tried to get the 12-man Blues back into the game.

“You never know when it is your last,” Tedesco said.

“I was feeling for ‘Dyl’ because he deserved this jersey and has been playing some awesome footy.

“We’ll have to see what happens in the next couple of weeks.”

Maguire is also likely to face renewed calls to pick an outside back or utility on the bench after Suaalii’s send-off left the Blues exposed on Wednesday with a four-forward interchange.