After being handed one of the toughest lessons of his young NRL career, Cronulla speedster Valentine Holmes is looking more like a representative star of the future.
That’s the view of his Sharks teammate Michael Ennis after the 20-year-old winger recovered from a forgettable first half to come up with the match-winning play in their 14-6 win over Melbourne on Monday night.
Ennis, an eight-time representative for NSW, said the Queenslander had the makings of an Origin player but needed to find consistency to step up to representative football.
“(Origin) is definitely in his blood, that’s for sure,” Ennis said.
“He’s a guy that oozes class. He just needs to continue to be consistent at club level and (coach Shane Flanagan) and the staff have challenged him to do that. I think his time will certainly come.”
Holmes endured a horror first 40 minutes at Shark Park with a thumb injury hampering him on the right edge where he bombed two golden try-scoring opportunities, dropping the ball cold with the line open.
However after the break, Holmes made amends when he used his speed to cut through the Melbourne defence in the middle of the field and send Chad Townsend over.
Holmes will have to wait until at least 2017 for a Queensland call up after being blacklisted for this year’s series by team management following his involvement in the Emerging Maroons camp drinking drama.
Flanagan said at halftime he challenged Holmes to find it within himself to wipe away his first-half blunders and tough out the rest of the game with a thumb injury.
“I just said to him `this is going to test us and this is what first grade is all about, you have to play busted and you need to bounce back from errors’ and he did that really well,” Flanagan said.