Excited – not daunted – by the challenge of his opposite number this weekend, Sharks winger Valentine Holmes knows Broncos flyer Corey Oates will pose a huge task for he and his inside man Jack Bird to contain, on Sunday afternoon.

Standing at 192 centimetres and tipping the scales at excess of 105 kilograms, Oates has proved a tough man to contain inside the season’s opening eight weeks – and Holmes said he’s expecting much of the same from the bullocking winger this weekend.

“Corey’s been in great form to start the season, he’s been scoring tries almost every game, and some pretty freakish ones at that,” he said.

“His combination with (Jack) Reed on their left edge has been pretty handy, and me and ‘Birdy’ will have to be on the same page in defence to match them.”

After a difficult night at the office versus the Storm in Round 4, Holmes has shown signs of his brilliant best in recent weeks, crossing for three tries inside the side’s last four matches.

“It’s been good to get back into the habit of scoring tries,” Holmes joked.

“Having Jack (Bird) inside at right centre has helped … he threw a tough pass under pressure to set up my try against Penrith.

“We know that we’ll have to be good both with and without the ball on Sunday. Brisbane are the competition leaders, but we go into the match pretty confident after winning our last five games.”

NRL TEAM LIST – Round 9
Sharks v Broncos 
Sunday, May 1
Southern Cross Group Stadium
Kick-off – 4.00pm

1 Ben Barba
2 Sosaia Feki
3 Jack Bird
4 Ricky Leutele
5 Valentine Holmes
6 James Maloney
7 Chad Townsend
8 Andrew Fifita
9 Michael Ennis
10 Sam Tagataese
11 Jayson Bukuya
12 Wade Graham
13 Paul Gallen
Interchange
14 Gerard Beale
15 Chris Heighington
16 Matt Prior
17 Luke Lewis

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