Bennett lays down Dolphins' challenge

Published 4:18pm 10 March 2023

Bennett lays down Dolphins' challenge
Words by Nick Crockford

Coach Wayne Bennett has outlined his team’s “challenge” tomorrow when Dolphins play their first NRL match at a packed Kayo Stadium in Kippa-Ring, kick-off 4.30pm.

Bennett has named the same team which beat title favourites Sydney Roosters last weekend, in a debut performance hailed as one of the greatest in NRL history.

Facing them will be Canberra Raiders, who are searching for their first points after going down 19-18 to North Queensland Cowboys in round one.

“Every week is a challenge,” Bennett said today, “tomorrow’s no different.

Bennett lays down Dolphins' challenge

"We’ve got to move on from it (last weekend’s win) and I’m sure we’ve done that. We cannot live on one game. I think everyone realises that.

“We want to go out there and show everyone we can consistently play at that level. That’s our challenge.”

“I have a lot of respect for (Raiders coach) Ricky (Stuart). Raiders have been a top team, they are going to be pretty hard to beat. We’ll have to play well to beat them.”

Bennett also played down the hype around Dolphins’ first NRL match at Kayo Stadium, saying: “(There’s) 24 rounds in the competition. It’s round two, that’s the occasion.

“Every week cannot be a big occasion or we’d be worn out by round four! This is a new history. Let’s go for the ride and see where it goes.”

Bennett lays down Dolphins' challenge

The only change in Dolphins’ 17-man squad for tomorrow’s game is Mason Teague, who came up from Penrith, replacing Ray Stone as one of four interchange players.

Wayne Bennett said the lock “played a couple of trial games in which he was very good”. “He’s earned his spot with his attitude to everything we’ve done here.”

The coach said young five-eighth Isaiya Kaota has “a lot of upside in his game right now” and will “get better at all the things he wasn’t so good at (against Roosters)."

Bennett also said of the alleged racial abuse towards South Sydney’s Latrell Mitchell: “None of us want it, none of us stand for it, the game has been strong in that area - I’m proud of that - society doesn’t want it.”

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