In a resounding display of prowess, the Dolphins marked the end of their inaugural NRL season with a commanding 34-10 victory over the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
This triumph, their ninth of the year, beautifully bookended a remarkable debut campaign that kicked off in March with a stunning upset against the Roosters.
The Dolphins began the game with an early lead in the eighth minute when Jack Bostock gracefully soared into the left corner, securing a 6-0 advantage after JamayneIsaako converted from a challenging angle.
By the 24th minute, the Dolphins had added a second try to their tally, with Sean O’Sullivan crossing the line after a relentless offensive display.
A moment of brilliance followed when prop Jarrod Wallace executed an impeccable inside pass to find Isaiya Katoa in support, allowing the Dolphins to capitalize on their dominance and extend their lead to 18-0 by the 28th minute.
Warriors’ halfback Ronald Volkman came close to opening the scoring for his side with a well-placed grubber, but he struggled to control the ball as he attempted to ground it.
Isaako, the NRL’s leading try scorer, concluded a slick attacking sequence with his 24th four-pointer of the season, as the Dolphins demonstrated their prowess against the undermanned Warriors.
The second half witnessed an improved defensive effort from the Warriors, highlighted by Tom Ale’s powerful tackle on O’Sullivan, signaling their determination not to concede easily.
The Warriors showed signs of a comeback when Freddy Lussick scored from the dummy half in the 58th minute, narrowing the deficit to 16 points.
Josh Curran then broke through the Dolphins’ defense from deep within his territory, connecting with Adam Pompey, who swiftly passed the ball to Marcelo Montoya, resulting in two tries in just two minutes for the Warriors.
A penalty against Warriors debutant Paul Roache for a dangerous tackle provided the Dolphins with some breathing room, and they capitalized on it with a try from Max Plath, following excellent lead-up play by Kodi Nikorima.
Despite trailing 28-10, the Warriors threatened to make a quick comeback. However, valiant defense by ValynceTe Whare kept the Dolphins’ line intact.
In the dying moments, veteran forward Kenny Bromwich scored a late try, concluding the game with a final score of 34-10.
This dominant performance highlighted the Dolphins’ class and left the Warriors facing their heaviest defeat of the season as they head into the finals series.
- The Dolphins lost hooker Harrison Graham to a groin injury during the first half.
- ValynceTe Whare gained 177 meters and achieved three tackle breaks for the Dolphins.
- Five-eighth Kodi Nikorima played a pivotal role for the Dolphins with two try assists, four line-break assists, and a line-break.
- The Dolphins achieved victories against four top-eight teams in their debut season, including the Raiders, Knights, Sharks, and Warriors.
- In the first half, the Dolphins dominated possession with 61% of the ball, making 1284 meters compared to the Warriors’ 632 meters.
- The Dolphins recorded an impressive 15 line breaks, while the Warriors managed only three throughout the match.
- Josh Curran delivered a tireless performance for the Warriors with 131 run meters and 36 tackles.
- Dolphins winger JamayneIsaako concluded the season with 244 points, amassing 204 meters in the game and breaking six tackles.
Play of the Game
Jack Bostock, appearing in just his fourth game of the season, showcased his skills with a spectacular putdown for the opening try. The 20-year-old’s impressive performance suggests he may play a more significant role for the Dolphins in 2024.
Quotes from the Coaches
Dolphins assistant coach Kristian Woolf expressed his pride in the team’s achievements: “I think we can be really proud of what we set up at the start of the year and the way we played, setting those foundations as to who the Dolphins are.”
On the other side, Warriors coach Andrew Webster acknowledged their performance: “We should have been way better… Our kicking game and building pressure just wasn’t good enough.”
The Dolphins concluded their debut season on a high note, leaving fans eager to see what they can achieve in the years to come.