O'Sullivan on round one, Milford

Published 12:54pm 27 February 2023

O'Sullivan on round one, Milford
Words by Nick Crockford

Dolphins NRL halfback Sean O’Sullivan is trying to keep a lid on the excitement building ahead of the side’s historic round one game this weekend, while the coach continues to weigh up his options for his halves partner.

During this morning’s training session, Head Coach Wayne Bennett moved Anthony Milford and Isaiya Katoa in and out of the five-eighth position.

See the photo gallery at the end of the story

At the post-training press conference, O’Sullivan said he didn’t know who his partner would be but he had confidence in both to get the job done, if selected.

“We’ve got full confidence in whoever Wayne puts in. We’re waiting just like you,” he said.

“Milf is very experienced and Issy’s young, hasn’t made his NRL debut, but they’re both very good players. The way that we want to play … that role will suit them both perfectly.”

He says it breeds a culture of trying to improve each week and earn their positions.

For O’Sullivan this has included working on his kicking game with the Brisbane Lions’ Dan Rich for about four months, including this morning.

“We’re building. Every single day we’re getting better and taking good strides as a team, and building combinations and building connections. We’re exactly where we need to be. We took another jump today and we’ll take another jump tomorrow too and continue to get better and build to Sunday,” O’Sullivan said.

“We’re not going to be out there doing all these big-set moves, that teams who have been together for four or five years and have that squad together … We’re trying to build our foundations of what we’re trying to achieve in attack and how we’re going about it.

“We’re going to build those layers on every single week. The way that we attack in round one isn’t going to be the same as how we attack in round 26.

“We’re going to get better every single week.”

Special moment

Facing the Roosters in his first game for the Dolphins will be special, he says, having made his debut for the Roosters and playing against his brother-in-law, Matt Lodge.

“It’s a great challenge for us and playing for the Arthur Beetson Cup (Medal), as a club … the very first one, it’s special,” he said.

“I get goosebumps just talking about it.”

What is he looking forward to the most?

“Honestly, just to have a packed Suncorp and pulling on that Dolphins’ jersey for the first time. It’s something … that day when you signed … you just envisioned that and tried to imagine what it’s going to be like. To realise that’s happening is pretty cool. It’s been a long process,” he said.

“Wayne was harping on about it this morning, every time you start thinking about the game … go do something else. He doesn’t want us thinking about it.

“Wayne’s the most experienced coach and he knows what it’s like. If Wayne’s telling all of us not to think about it, I won’t be thinking about it.”

Keeping a lid on those emotions, and not playing the game in their heads before kick-off, will be key as they build momentum into Sunday.

Check out the photo gallery – click through

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