Holmes was at the centre of the three biggest moments in the Cowboys’ 32-30 win on Saturday, as they fought back from a late deficit to claim a golden-point victory.
The Queensland State of Origin flyer was first ruled to have been obstructed by Jesse Ramien in the lead-up to a potential Sharks try, which would have put the hosts ahead 28-22 with a kick to come and 18 minutes to play.
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After Cronulla later crossed again to take a 30-22 lead, Sharks winger Connor Tracey was sin-binned for impeding Holmes’ chances of chasing down a grubber and crossing with eight minutes to play.
And then after the Cowboys eventually drew level on fulltime, Holmes nailed a 43-minute field goal in the 93rd minute to win the game and book a home preliminary final.
The obstruction call attracted the attention of Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon post-match, as he questioned if Ramien had even made contact with Holmes before he fell.
Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston also questioned the incident in commentary, claiming Holmes “needed an academy award” for what he believed was a dive.
But Holmes was insistent after the match that contact had been made from Ramien, and the penalty was deserved to overturn the try Tracey had scored.
“He ran over and I was trying to cover. That’s just the rules,” Holmes said.
“I’m trying to cover, he ran to my outside shoulder. And I fell over.
“Yeah (there was contact). I really don’t like guys milking penalties and I’m never the guy that tries to milk penalties or anything like that.
“But I knew that he should have just stopped or gone through the line of my inside shoulder, because he needs to run on my inside.”
Fitzgibbon meanwhile opted against commenting on the sin-bin, however Sharks No.7 Nicho Hynes claimed after the match Cronulla had been “hard done by” with the call.
But Holmes was adamant he’d been taken out by Tracey, believing the only call was between whether it warranted a penalty try or sin-bin for the Shark.
“It’s pretty black and white the rules, all year it’s been consistent and that’s what we want,” Holmes said.