Valentine Holmes ready to fight for Cronulla fullback spot

Matt Encarnacion Roar Guru

By Matt Encarnacion, Matt Encarnacion is a Roar Guru

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    Cronulla star Valentine Holmes insists he is ready to fight off any plans new recruits Josh Dugan and Matt Moylan may have to steal his beloved fullback jumper.

    Holmes’ grip on the No.1 spot at the Sharks could be threatened after the Sharks last week unveiled the big-money signing of Moylan from Penrith.

    The former Panthers skipper is pencilled in to replace James Maloney at five-eighth, however coach Shane Flanagan has already spoken about Moylan’s value as a utility.

    “They signed Dugan as well. We’ve got some good depth there now and I’m not that concerned,” Holmes said.

    Holmes believes Dugan is a definite starter on the left edge for the departed Jack Bird, while Moylan will also feature on the same edge as the No.6.

    “It’s definitely a new combination there and with Jimmy (Maloney) gone we’ll need someone there on the left side,” Holmes said.

    “We’ll see how we go with that and how we form combinations there, I think Dugan will jump straight into Birdy’s spot, I would assume so. But we’ll see what Flanno chooses.

    “That’s what I’d like to think but he’s the coach and makes the calls, so we’ll see what he says.”

    The Sharks’ recruitment of Dugan and Moylan gives Flanagan options at the crucial fullback spot should Holmes fail to flourish in his new role.

    The Kangaroos representative had a mixed season in his first stint as custodian, scoring just six tries compared to 19 during their premiership season in 2016.

    Holmes said he was using the Rugby League World Cup campaign alongside veteran Billy Slater to bring his game to another level.

    He played his first game as Kangaroos fullback in last week’s win over Lebanon.

    “I’ve learnt a lot from him, just how he is at training, how he talks in defence, how he organises the defence,” Holmes said.

    “That’s one of the major things I want to work on. You win games if you defend well and obviously we did a really good job there to keep (Lebanon) to zero.

    “It sort of helps when you’ve got the best players in the game, they sort of know where to be and where to go, so it sort of makes my job a bit easier.

    “But Slater helped me earlier in the week with my defensive structure and where to put the boys, so that was a great help.”

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • November 14th 2017 @ 10:01am
      MAX said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      Valentine has a way to go before he is as good a full back as he is a winger.

      The Sharks look to be certain Top 4 in 2018 regardless of where he plays.
      Similarly, Billy’s coaching has to be gold, regardless of position.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 10:36am
        Scott Pryde said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        Agree with you Max that wing is his best position. Not sure who should play fullback in the Shire next year.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 11:28am
        KingCowboy said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Max that is a massive call to say that they are certain to make the Top 4 when your consider 75% of their spine is gone from the P’ship winning side. I can see them getting anywhere from 6-10 depending on injuries

      • November 14th 2017 @ 12:35pm
        Albo said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        Yep ! Holmes is a long way behind Dugan and Moylan as a fullback. He is a deadest winger for mine. Both Dugan & Moylan are best suited at fullback I believe, but for different skills sets. But it depends how the coach wants to use his two new buys, whether to plug the missing spots of Maloney (6) and lack of a good centre( Bird), rather than playing them in their best fullback positions. Moylan could play the five eight type role from either 6 or 1. Dugan could play centre or 1 effectively. The fly still buzzing around the ointment is the talk of Pearce maybe coming to the Shire as well ? If Pearce comes and plays in the halves, Holmes would likely lose the fullback spot to Moylan, if Pearce doesn’t come, the fullback job is likely safe for Holmes ?

      • November 15th 2017 @ 12:01pm
        Chook said | November 15th 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

        Agree. Took a while before AJohnstone made the position his. But he seemed to accomplish that prior to his injury

    • November 14th 2017 @ 11:40am
      souvalis said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

      Once Gal gets Mitchell over,we can start the party…don’t like Townsend..hope to see,after the first 4 rounds Dugan,Moylan,Pearce..Brailey/Segeyaro as the Sharks spine…pack on its day the best in the NRL….Flannos done it again with a great roster….potentially any thing other than top 4 would be deemed disappointing by this fan…

      • November 14th 2017 @ 1:54pm
        Oto shark said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

        Souvalis if we land Pearce and Moylan plays fullback ,It could actually be party time .

    • Roar Guru

      November 14th 2017 @ 11:46am
      Nat said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

      I would be surprised to see him keep the No.1 role given they have the 2nd and 3rd best NSW FBs coming. Agree with Max, Boyd went from good to FB to exceptional under Billy’s mentoring, even Munster went from good Q Cup player to Aust rep in 2 years with the same guidance so IF Holmes takes this time on board – look out.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 15th 2017 @ 12:24pm
        Bunney said | November 15th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        Moylan and Dugan are 2nd and 3rd best fullbacks in NSW??

        Most punters would have Teddy and Turbo in front of them – which one are you leaving out??

    • Roar Rookie

      November 14th 2017 @ 8:25pm
      Squidward said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

      Val certainly needs to improve if he wants it.
      Sensationally ferocious kick returns. But just hasn’t grasped the modern fullback of chiming into the back line, and his backing up that Barba won the comp off
      Lucky for him Cronulla needs the 2 better fullbacks they just bought than him more desperately at Center and 5/8
      Hes close to best winger in the world. But it top10 NRL fullbacks

    • November 15th 2017 @ 8:30am
      Andrew said | November 15th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      He needs to develop the ability to pass the ball to be considered for a fullback role surely?

    • November 15th 2017 @ 7:19pm
      moustache twirler said | November 15th 2017 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

      I’m not completely sold on the recruitment/retention policy of the sharks here. Especially when you take into consideration the rumours that they are courting Pearce. Their recruitment policy is seemingly directionless. It seems as if they are just looking at the players are that becoming available on the market (Moylan, Pearce) and saying “yeah he seems like a good pickup, lets go for him”, as opposed to there being a well laid out plan to go for certain players to fill gaps in their roster.

      This is evidenced by their big money deals with Holmes, Dugan, and Moylan. You have Holmes, who possess world class talent, but will only stay on your roster if he gets to play fullback, so you need to pay him fullback money. You also have Dugan, who is also an elite fullback, but because you already have Holmes, you have to play him in the centres. But because Dugan is a proven rep level fullback (as dictated by the market), he needs to be paid accordingly. Its a similar story with Moylan. A proven rep level fullback who is unproven at 5/8th. You have to play him at 5/8th because that’s (supposedly) a condition of him coming to your club. In the end, you are paying for a rep level fullback in return for an unproven 5/8th.

      In hindsight (such a lovely thing), it would have been better to retain Bird and forego Dugan. In Holmes and Moylan, you have two high calibre fullback options. If Holmes fails, Moylan can take over. Bird can then be shifted into 5/8th. Remember, the guy won rookie of the year in that position.

      Holmes, Dugan, and Moylan. Plenty of talent there. Just not sure if it was the wisest use of resources. If we were talking about a rep team its doable. But in an NRL team, where optimal resource allocation is key… I’m not so sure.

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