Holmes ready to end hero’s career
CRONULLA fullback Valentine Holmes idolises Billy Slater but he says the Sharks will do everything to stop the Melbourne No.1 from a fairytale grand final farewell.
Holmes has admired Slater since his junior league days in Townsville and has also moulded his transition from the wing to fullback on the Queensland and Australian champion.
"Obviously Billy will want to go to the grand final to get the send-off he deserves but we are not going to be an easy team that rolls over," Holmes said of Friday night's preliminary final at AAMI Park.
"We will turn up and hopefully we can get the win. But Billy has been a big role model of mine growing up.
"I've been lucky enough to play against him and alongside him at Test and Origin level.
"Billy has had a really good career. He has won a few grand finals, Origins, World Cups and won Dally Ms - he has done everything.
"If we beat them, and I'm hoping we do, I'm sure he'll still be happy with how his career went."
Cronulla face a tough task beating Melbourne at AAMI Park but Holmes is confident of causing an upset.
He says the Sharks can take inspiration from their two wins over the Storm this season, especially the round 22 triumph in Melbourne.
Holmes starred on the day with a try and two goals as Cronulla claimed a hard fought 17-14 victory.
"We'd lost two games in a row before that win and it turned the season around for us," he said.
"We have to go down there with the same mindset and try and treat it like a normal game.
"We've got to worry about holding onto the ball otherwise Melbourne will hurt us.
"They are a quality team and when they are attacking the line they usually score, so we've got to give them the ball in the corner."
The Sharks have had a lot success against the Storm this season but Holmes stressed his side can't head to Melbourne with a complacent attitude.
"If we play like we did in the second half against Penrith, the Storm will just steamroll us," he said.
"Players like Slater and Smith are going to spot that out.
"They would have looked at that Penrith game to see what we did wrong and they'll try and do the same thing that the Panthers did."