After missing the inaugural NRL Rookie contract Macquarie hooker Chris Hyde wants to channel his energies into a Scorpions premiership double.
The 28-year-old finished third at the live final in Sydney on Tuesday but has revealed his desire to put behind him that disappointment and instead focus on claiming the crown which eluded him when filming of the reality television program and the Newcastle Rugby League decider clashed at the end of last season.
“It makes me really want to make it up to them this year,” Hyde said. “Especially after leaving at such a crucial point last year and seeing the boys get knocked off the way they did in the grand final. I want to get back to my best, really rip in, and try to win the comp. It’s such a big thing for Macquarie and the Toronto area. The town is passionate for the game and the club and the support you get, I guess you want to give one back to the fans.”
The 2014 player of the year is well aware of the steps taken by the Scorpions towards success this season and what could be the club’s first minor premiership since joining the competition in 1960.
The crew at Lyall Peacock Field are also keen to add grand final glory to their sole triumph 25 years ago, and they have put themselves in the strongest possible position for both with two rounds left, enjoying a two-point buffer on top of the table.
“If we win our next game [at home against Lakes on August 13] we will go pretty close to the minor premiership,” Hyde said. “It would be a bit of history for the club. I like the depth we have this year and that’s something you need to be successful in a club. When blokes come up from reverse grade they fit in straight away and we have a really strong bench.”
Individually, the electrician said he now feels mentally stronger after the experience on NRL Rookie, which spanned the last 12 months.
“It was all in the head,” Hyde said. “I’ve always known what kind of player I was and it’s just putting that onto the footy field. Keeping your mind ready and keeping all the head noise out.”
Hyde said the overriding emotion in the wash up was “relief” and conceded “age” was the main factor in his defeat by Canberra-bound winner Lou Goodwin and runner-up Jordan Martin.
“Age was always on the cards,” he said. “I kind of wish Freddie [NRL Rookie coach Brad Fittler] was picking it because I might have been more of a chance.”
And while the South Sydney Jersey Flegg and North Sydney NSW Cup representative has put aside his NRL dream, he hasn’t ruled out a potential future move overseas.
“I’m going to leave my options open and just see what comes my way,” Hyde said. “I’m in a better position now then I’ve ever been.”