2017 PLAYER REVIEW – Valentine Holmes
As a winger Valentine Holmes earned Kangaroos selection at the end of 2016, he made a spectacular debut for Queensland in the same position this year, while back at the Sharks, 2017 marked his first full season as a fullback in the NRL.
And it was quite a year in the number one jersey for a player rated amongst the NRL’s most exciting runners of the football.
Holmes ran for a total of 3675 metres in his 22 games this year, second behind only the Sharks skipper Paul Gallen in terms of most metres gained, scoring six tries, with his fearless charges on kick returns a highlight of his performances each and every week.
Everyone agrees, most likely Holmes included, that his play at fullback is a work in progress but now with 2017 under his belt the sky is the limit in regards to the impact he can have in the years to come.
Holmes will head to PNG with the Prime Minister’s XIII next weekend, is a shoe-in for the Australian World Cup team after that, with Sharks fans set to enjoy the fruits of his progress and development over the next few seasons.
Season highlight: There were a few, however his Sharks Try of the Year back in round five against the Newcastle Knights probably stood out above all the rest. Returning a Knights kick Holmes broke through the line and dashed downfield, before finding Jack Bird in support. His teammate was collared by the defence but finding Holmes still alive and in support, Bird threw a one-handed speculator to his good mate who held off the cover to plant the ball down in the corner. It was certainly a moment that had the home ground faithful on its feet.
2017 Stats: Valentine Holmes
Games played: 22
Run Metres: 3675
Kick return metres: 1777
Line Breaks: 10
Try Assists: 5