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Inside the Cowboys’ match-winning field goal




Kicking a match-winning field goal is a team effort: just ask Valentine Holmes.

Though he was the one to slot the ball through the posts for a dramatic 32-30 win in golden point last night in Cronulla, the Cowboys centre said that he planned the whole set out in order to deliver the ball to where it needed to be.

Holmes actually took one of the earlier hit ups in the set, and as he played the ball in his own half, he shouted instructions to his teammates.

“I didn’t want any of the backs to take carries because the whole game they were driving us back, which they’re very good at,” said Holmes.

“So I wanted middles to get their hands on the ball, Jason (Taumalolo) and Reuben (Cotter). It was literally as if we planned it, which we did.

“I yelled at Reubs, I said I wanted him to take care of it. He said ‘I got you’ and then he took it.  And then Jase took the next one, he took it to the right post. I wanted him to go to the right post.

“It was definitely a team effort, especially the last set, and I had to nail the last one.

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“I knew we only had like a minute to go to the halftime break and until the next golden point, but I just wanted Reubs and Jason to get the last two carries. I knew they would get the most ruck speed and play-the-balls for us.

“They both got like 15 metres each. That’s all I needed. I just needed to be over the halfway, around the 40 and they gave me the best opportunity to kick it.

“That’s my job to do that. It’s what we practice for, Chaddy (Townsend) and I to pull off in a game like this, in that situation. It’s unreal.

“We were warming up that end. I missed them all. I kicked three and missed them all. I always miss them at training. Obviously it feels good to get it when it counts.”

Holmes was overwhelmed with the atmosphere at Shark Park. Though he won a premiership with Cronulla in 2016, this was the first time that he had played a finals game in the Shire, as previously the stadium was deemed too small for such fixtures.

“That literally had everything in it,” he said. “It would be up there with one of the biggest games I have played in. Unreal. Obviously good ending for us.

“It’s always gonna be a tough ask to come here to Shark Park with the in the quality that they’re plaing. They’ve won eight games in a row so it was definitely going to hard to beat them.

Obviously the occasion, the time in the game, where we are. It’s definitely had everything in it. It’s up there.”





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