Timely boosts for Dolphins' derby clash

Published 3:00pm 6 April 2023

Timely boosts for Dolphins' derby clash
Words by Nick Crockford

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has welcomed the return and debut of winger Edrick Lee for tomorrow’s (Good Friday) derby against the Cowboys - and praised a rising star.

Lee suffered an ankle injury almost two months ago and has missed the first five rounds of Dolphins’ inaugural NRL season.

But the 30-year-old former Raiders, Sharks and Newcastle player is back and starts tomorrow’s (April 7) match in Townsville with Dolphins aiming to hit back after successive defeats.

Bennett said Lee is an “experienced player, a good communicator, knows how to get to the try line and knows his position really well.

"Makes the job a lot easier if they do it properly.”

Edrick Lee who will make a belated debut for Dolphins tomorrow.

“Cowboys have been a bit up and down but they’re a good football team …. they’re a committed team.

“I want us to be committed tomorrow and do our best.”

There was also praise for Kodi Nikorima, who will be at half back following the hamstring injury to Anthony Milford.

“I’m really pleased he’s back and pleased he’s playing that position,” Bennett said. “He’s a wonderful player.”

Bennett said Broncos were "grooming him to be the next half there" and having played for New Zealand makes him "quite an accomplished player".

Timely boosts for Dolphins' derby clash
Coach Wayne Bennett who said as Connelly Lemuelu "has been great to work with".

Dolphins have extended the contract of Connelly Lemuelu, who has switched from centre to the forwards, after an “outstanding start” to the season.

The 24-year-old former North Queensland Cowboy scored in Dolphins’ historic victory over the Roosters in their first NRL match.

Bennett said Lemuelu "came here as a bit of an unknown" and "has been great to work with He has a lot of talent. We haven't seen all that yet, but it's there."

Dolphins’ chief executive Terry Reader said, on the club’s website: “We were very pleased with the pre-season Connelly had and that hard work has paid dividends for him.

“Our recruitment chief Peter O’Sullivan had marked Connelly as a player that could have a big impact on the NRL and he has been proved right already.”

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