Dolphins push Storm all the way

Published 12:09am 22 June 2024

Dolphins push Storm all the way
Words by Kylie Knight

The Dolphins pushed the NRL’s ladder leaders to the 80th minute during a courageous round 16 performance at Suncorp Stadium.

While they fell just short of victory, losing 30-24, Head Coach Wayne Bennett said there was ‘nobody I was disappointed in tonight’.

See photos from the game at the end of this story

The Dolphins lost winger Jack Bostock to concussion in the first few minutes, when he fell awkwardly and was knocked out while making a tackle.

Bennett said the team was ‘short of utility players at the moment’ forcing Herbie Farnworth onto the wing initially, before a switch to Jake Averillo later in the game.

“I think a winger is the hardest player in the game to replace these days. It’s such a specialised position. That’s luck and we didn’t have much of that,” he said.

Kenny Bromwich opened the scoring in the eighth minute and by half time both sides had scored three tries each.

For about 15 minutes after the break, momentum seemed to swing in Melbourne’s favour as they scored two more.

A remarkable near-100m run by Jamayne Isaako in the 56th minute narrowed the Storm’s lead to 30-22 and a penalty goal in the 77th minute gave the Dolphins hope they could level the score or force an upset.

In the final minute, it still seemed possible as a beautiful pass from fullback Trai Fuller’s found Isaako near the line, but the Storm defence rallied to secure the win.

The Dolphins again showed the qualities which endear them to fans and their coach.

“It’s one of the things I really enjoy about being with these guys. They just don’t know when to give up. They don’t give up. They just stay at it. At the end of the night, we didn’t get beaten, we just ran out of time. Another five minutes, we’d probably win it. Their effort’s outstanding,” Bennett said.

“There was nobody I was disappointed in tonight. I thought they all made a contribution. We’ve played the top two teams in the last two weeks, and we won one and just got beaten in the other one.

“We’ve just got to hold ourselves together now and make sure we win the games we can and keep ourselves in contention for late in the season.”

Captain Jesse Bromwich is proud of the way his side handled adversity and fought right up until the 80th minute.

“It’s a bit of a bitter-sweet feeling. The boys went out there and put in a heap of effort. Once Jack went down and we had to shift our line a bit, it did make things tougher but the effort was still there,” Bromwich said.

“To be there at the end of the game, still going with a chance to have a crack at drawing it up … we should take some confidence out of that. We’re obviously disappointed we lost, but like Wayne said, the boys never give up. It’s hard to fault that.”

Bostock will miss next round’s clash with the Dragons, due to concussion protocols, but Bennett is confident there are no other major injury concerns at this stage.

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