Averillo eyes win against Dragons

Published 5:00am 27 June 2024

Averillo eyes win against Dragons
Words by Kylie Knight

Dolphins NRL centre Jake Averillo is proud of his side’s effort in their narrow loss to ladder leaders Melbourne Storm last round and says they will be focused on a win, when they take on the Dragons this weekend.

The round 17 clash is in Sydney on Sunday (2pm kick off).

It is unlikely Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow will return to the starting fullback role after suffering a shoulder injury in State of Origin game two, but Felise Kaufusi is expected to back up.

Tesi Niu will fill in for Jack Bostock (concussion) on the wing, following a 140m try-scoring performance for Dolphins’ affiliate club Norths last weekend.

Josh Kerr has been named as 18th man.

Averillo says Head Coach Wayne Bennett was pleased with how the side performed in their 30-24 defeat to Melbourne, after losing winger Jack Bostock to concussion just a couple of minutes into the game.

“He was pretty proud of our efforts. We were in it for the whole 80 … it all led to the last play of the game. We’ve just got to keep backing it up and put another good performance in this week,” Averillo says.

“We played two top-four teams in the last two weeks – we won one and lost it at the death on the weekend.

“We can’t sleep against the Dragons; we’ve got to try to win.”

The 23-year-old has found his feet at the Dolphins after moving from the Bulldogs ahead of the 2024 season.

“It’s building nicely. I think I’m getting settled in now. It took a while, in the start, but I’ve found my place in this team and enjoying it,” he says.

“Each week, I’m just trying to get better and better. It’s coming along nicely.”

He’s loving the South East Queensland weather and enjoying playing with his new teammates, on the right edge and pairing with try-scoring machine Jamayne Isaako.

“I’m a lot more comfortable now. I just need to find a bit of consistency. Obviously, that was going to take time ... everything was sort of new. I’m glad I am where I am.

“I think it (the combination with Jamayne) is coming along pretty good. He’s scoring tries which is making him happy.”

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