Flanagan hails 'washed-up' Ennis
Photo Source: AAP
"Washed-up" Michael Ennis will play his 50th NRL game for Cronulla in Friday's preliminary final against North Queensland and Sharks coach Shane Flanagan is proud to have played a key part in his hooker's rebirth.
Some predicted Ennis would be headed for the scrap heap when Canterbury signed up-and-coming rake Michael Lichaa from the Sharks for the 2015 season.
But Ennis has reinvented himself at Cronulla and has been crucial to their success in 2016.
"When I first brought him over they said he was washed up and probably at the end of his career," Flanagan said.
"But he has played 50 games in two years and he has been a quality player for us."
Flanagan recognised the Bulldogs forward-oriented attack had taken its toll on Ennis' play.
"I knew he was a competitor and I knew the style of play they were playing at the Bulldogs didn't suit Michael.
"I knew he liked to be able to come out and play out of dummy half and he didn't get that opportunity in the Dogs style where they were playing off their forwards.
"He has developed since joining us and he is really enjoying his football."
Ennis will retire at season's end.
So far he has played 271 NRL games for Newcastle, St George Illawarra, Brisbane, Canterbury and Cronulla.
"Mick isn't approaching this game as his last," Flanagan said.
"That's a negative thought and he has, as always, been approaching this game in a positive manner."