Hammer on Dolphins’ new jersey and 2023 season

Published 1:28pm 22 August 2023

Hammer on Dolphins’ new jersey and 2023 season
Words by Kylie Knight

In a season of firsts, the Dolphins’ NRL team will debut a 2024 jersey against the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night (8pm kick-off).

Fan favourite Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow modelled the new black, red and gold jersey that will become the club’s alternate strip for the 2024 season.

It will be the first time an NRL team has worn a new jersey ahead of its official season, but it is often done by English Premier League teams to give their fans a preview.

Dolphins’ chief executive Terry Reader says the club expects the new strip to be popular with fans.

“It is unusual to be wearing a jersey ahead of its official season, but the reality is that as the number-one selling team in the NRL for on-field apparel, buying a 2023 Dolphins jersey is extremely difficult at this point,” Reader says.

“Our fan feedback has been strong that our supporters wanted to see some black added into our range and our apparel partner Classic and retailers have indicated this will be a popular item.

“We have had a lot of firsts this year at the Dolphins, and this will be another one for our fans as we return in a new jersey for the first game back at Suncorp Stadium.”

Tabuai-Fidow is keen to run out in the new jersey against his old club. It will be available to buy from Thursday.

“It’s obviously a cool jersey. It gives the fans something new and I think we’re all excited to play in it on Friday against the Cowboys,” he says.

And he will return to fullback this week after a stint in the centres.

“I’m excited to be back there. I’ve played centre for the last couple of games. It is my number one position that I prefer and I think getting back there especially this weekend … I’m excited,” he says.

Key to success against the Cowboys will be limiting Scott Drinkwater’s time with the ball.

“I think they’ll come with a lot of energy. They’re fighting for a spot (in the finals). I think the focus on us is just play the whole 80 (minutes) with energy … just turning up for each other,” Tabuai-Fidow says.

“We have done that in the last five weeks and it show the trust that we have within the group and I think if we do that for the 80 minutes, we’ll go a long way.”

The side will play their last two games of the season at Suncorp Stadium, facing the Warriors next week.

“Having the last month or so away … it will be good to get back at Suncorp playing in front of our fans. I’m pretty sure this weekend will be packed,” Tabuai-Fidow says.

It follows a one-point loss to last-placed Wests Tigers in Sydney last weekend.

“He (Wayne) doesn’t fault our effort throughout the whole game. We just need to clean up a couple of errors. I think with that effort, everyone sees it … we just need to clean up the couple of errors we have in us,” Tabuai-Fidow says.

He says errors and giving penalties away have been the difference between making the finals and not.

Hammer on Dolphins’ new jersey and 2023 season

Scintillating form

It has been a breakthrough season for the 21-year-old, with outstanding performances for his club and Queensland. Has this been the best move he’s ever made?

“Yeah. I think for myself I’ve enjoyed footy more, playing down here. I’ve gone out with a smile on my face and I think when I do have fun out there I do play my best footy. I’ve done that this year and I’m only building onto next year as well,” he explains.

“I think the culture that we’re building here as a club, and the boys here as well … that’s what made me want to stay (long-term). The coaching of Wayne, Woolfee and Finny as well … they’ve told me to go out and just play footy. I think that’s what I needed to do. Just the season I’ve had, I’ve been pretty happy and I think I’m only going to go up from there.

“Redcliffe’s a good spot and I’m enjoying it as well.

“I’m happy with the way the season’s gone. Everyone wrote us off at the start of the year to not win a game and we won our first five. The season’s been pretty good for us. Going into this week … the last two games into next season … we’re a solid team to beat.”

So, what is that much-spoken-about culture?

“The culture here is built on trust. We all have trust in each other, and I think that goes a long way on the footy field because you’re out there with your mates that you see every day and I think having that trust built within each other … everyone’s really comfortable out there and know that your mate will work for you,” he says.

Hammer on Dolphins’ new jersey and 2023 season

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