Photo gallery: Dolphins V Cowboys

Published 11:30pm 25 August 2023

Photo gallery: Dolphins V Cowboys
Words by Kylie Knight

Not even a Jamayne Isaako double could stop a Cowboys side on a mission at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

The home side went down 34-10 in their second last game of the season, in front of a crowd of more than 33,000 people.

It’s the sixth straight loss for the Dolphins who were looking to finish their inaugural season on a more positive note.

The Cowboys’ Zac Laybutt scored the first of two tries in the 10th minute, with the visitors to cross four more times to seal the result in convincing fashion.

At halftime, the Dolphins were trailing 24-10, but bright moments came in the second half when their defence rallied and Jamayne Isaako scored two tries (62nd and 71st  minutes). 

Head Coach Wayne Bennett went into this game simply expecting his side to do their best and was not disappointed with their effort in the second half.

“At 24-0 and coming in at halftime, it was a pretty tough time for them because it was going all against them but just their strength and their ability to play for each other got them through that second half, otherwise we would have probably been beaten by 60-odd points,” he said after the game.

“It’s a great credit to them. They’ve consistently shown that. That’s the thing that gives me confidence about our future plus our ability to recruit new players and build up our squad.”

When asked if this is the toughest time he’s had as a coach, he was quick to answer.

“No, it’s not the toughest time I’ve had. I’m working with a really good group of guys. They’re a pleasure to be around, we’re all pretty committed and we know where we’re going … we weren’t expecting any miracles this year and we’ve had no miracles but we’ve been a good, honest football team. We can build a club out of that,” he said.

“We can’t build a football team without effort and effort’s been there nearly every week. Building pressure and completing and doing the things that we’re just a little bit off the pace at the moment … we’ll be a lot better at that next year and we’re heading in the right direction. That’s where we’re heading.”

Stand-in captain Felise Kaufusi said he was proud of the team which “plays with effort and never gives up”.

It’s a team which includes the NRL’s leading points scorer – Jamayne Isaako. His form this season, and two tries tonight, mean he now has the record for the most points scored for a new franchise player in their first year.

“He’s been outstanding. I don’t if there’s been many better players in the competition than he is. It’s a real credit to him … where he came from last year where he was at … to think that he’s playing for us and particularly when we’re not in the top 10 teams in terms of points and all that type of stuff. It’s quite remarkable,” Bennett said.

“There’s more to come. He’s a wonderful winger, a great finisher.”

See photos from the game (click through)

Photos by Dominika Lis

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