On July 6th, 2011, Michael Ennis would play what he would later believe to be his last representative match for the New South Wales Blues.
Ennis and the rest of the Blues side went down in what was the sixth consecutive series loss for the state. The 31-year-old told sharks.com.au that in the wake of the loss, he feared he would never get the chance to play Origin again.
Some 1,464 days later, the Cronulla hooker would once more pull on the sky blue of NSW – but only at the expense of Wests Tigers number nine, and Blues incumbent, Robbie Farah’s broken hand.
Despite the disappointing result for Ennis and his teammates in the 2015 Origin decider, ‘The Menace’ showed no signs of discomfort on a night where he again showcased his credentials and abilities at the game’s highest level.
“It was unreal to get back there, and to get back into that environment, and around that calibre of players,” Ennis said.
“Those thoughts (about never playing Origin again) always go through your head, but you never stop trying and I think it was a reward for the form for all the boys around me at Cronulla.
“Obviously Robbie’s injury was unfortunate for him, but it opened the door for me, and yeah (Origin) was great.”
Putting the State of Origin series well into the back of his mind, Ennis has been the leading man behind the Sharks’ surge to September.
And while media and fans alike will build up the Sharks and Tigers clash to be a battle of the number nines, the 31-year-old said that after years in the game he’s ‘a bit sick’ of being asked about he and Farah’s ‘personal battle’.
“It’s always good to come up against players like Robbie, but we’re at a pretty vital point in the season in terms of just doing ‘us’ well,” he said.
“I’m just trying to play as well as I can down here for Cronulla in terms of trying to get us onto a bit of a roll heading into September.
“I think that’s more the focus more so than any personal battles.”
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