Can the Newcastle Knights stop Sharks winger Valentine Holmes

Valentine Holmes is back on the wing, back to his best form and back as a leading contender for a wing spot in the Queensland State of Origin side to be announced on Monday morning.

All of which spells trouble for the Newcastle Knights less than 24 hours earlier at Beanie for Brain Cancer Stadium.

No player has terrorised the Knights defence more than the Cronulla winger in recent seasons.

While the Sharks have won their past six matches against the Knights including four of their past five in Newcastle, Holmes’ record is even more impressive.

In his last five games against Newcastle, he has crossed for nine tries and will be looking to add to that impressive haul on Sunday.

Knights coach Nathan Brown will be stressing the need for his defence to stay vigilant whenever the fleet-footed winger is around the ball but he won’t be Brown’s only concern.

While they boast some individual brilliance that can hurt you, the Sharks are also the kings of the graft and can suffocate you out of games.

“They love grinding out wins,” Knights five-eighth Connor Watson said.

“They’ve got a great forward pack and a lot of older heads there who just know how to win footy games and we’ve seen that in the last couple of weeks.

“Even the younger guys that have come up to the fill the shoes [of the injured players] have done the same thing as the ones that were there before them.

“It’s a big challenge. I think for us, we just need to grit our teeth and get stuck in and have a real crack.”

Watson believes the Knights will need to chance their arm a little bit to pull off an upset.

“Every game you want to get in the grind and try to break down teams but I think when it comes down to it, you have to chance your arm and ice those opportunities that are there,” he said.

“We won’t be shying away from playing our attacking footy which we are doing a good job of. It’s just our defence where we really need to knuckle down.”

Significantly, the Knights are averaging slightly more points in attack than the Sharks but are letting in eight points a game more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *