Hamstring injury puts Holmes in doubt for round one
VALENTINE Holmes is in jeopardy of missing the start of Cronulla's campaign for back-to-back premierships after he suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday's 30-12 trial loss to Brisbane.
The Townsville-born sensation felt his right hamstring "grab" as he jumped for a ball in a try attempt in the 50th minute.
He was unable to put pressure on the leg and had to be assisted from the field, with trainers eventually carrying him down the tunnel at Redcliffe's Dolphin Oval.
It sent a scare through the Sharks camp but Holmes looked much better after the match.
Coach Shane Flanagan confirmed afterwards his star back will need scans on Sunday.
Flanagan said it was a "two to three week injury at best" and was unsure of the damage.
"It's not good but it's not as bad as first thought," Flanagan said.
"It's something we don't want but we'll just deal with it.
"He'll have scans tomorrow (Sunday) morning so we know exactly what's wrong."
If the injury does rule Holmes out for the start of the season, it will come as a massive blow for the reigning premiers, who just this week lost star fullback Ben Barba to French rugby side Toulon.
Holmes was the obvious favourite to replace Barba but is in doubt for round one.
Flanagan said despite the scare he still believes trials are a necessary part of rugby league.
"A lot of our players needed a trial," he said.
"It's a necessary evil. We just have to get through it."
It was a tough night all around for Cronulla, as they struggled to move past Holmes' injury and overcome a strong Brisbane forward pack.
With Paul Gallen ruled out of the match beforehand with a neck concern, the Sharks pack failed against Brisbane's.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Cronulla, with most of Brisbane's forwards battling for a place in Wayne Bennett's 17 for the season ahead.
Many of them showed they were up for the fight last night as they ground out the trial victory.
Tevita Pangai Jnr was particularly impressive.
The 21-year-old - who made his NRL debut last year - was nearly impossible for Cronulla to shut down and gave Brisbane their first points of the match in the 17th minute when he barged over the line.
He was joined on the scoreboard by fellow forwards Joe Ofahengaue, Alex Glenn and Herman Ese'ese, with young fullback Jamayne Isaako the only back to cross for the Broncos.
The only other injury concerns from the match included Cronulla centre Jordan Drew (concussion) and young Brisbane winger Nikau Terupe, who was taken to hospital with what looked to be a nasty knee injury.