Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap

Published 4:00pm 6 September 2022

Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap
Words by Kylie Knight
Photos: Vanessa Hafner/QRL

The Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup side is straight through to the Preliminary Final and will rest this weekend while they wait for their opponent to be decided.

It follows another nailbiter against the Sunshine Coast Falcons last weekend at Sunshine Coast Stadium in which the Dolphins triumphed 22-16.

In their second physical encounter in as many weeks, Redcliffe struck first with a Justin Worley try in the 10th minute, followed shortly after by Valynce Te Whare, before the Falcons crossed in the 29th minute and scored two more points from a penalty just before half-time. The Dolphins went into the break ahead 12-8.

A try to the Falcons’ Jack Gibbons in the 65th minute put the Falcons back in the game but Liam Hampson crossed for the Dolphins two minutes later and not even another Falcons try in the 70th minute was enough to win it with two missed conversions and two penalty goals by the Falcons proving the difference.

The Dolphins’ Bryce Donovan had a 100 per cent strike rate, converting all three tries and kicking two from two penalty goals.

Redcliffe Dolphins’ Head Coach Scott Murray says his side’s effort earned them a weekend off.

|“It was a really tough game. We played a hell of a lot better than the week before and fixed up the things that needed to be improved,” Murray says.|

“They went out there and put it all into practice. It wasn’t perfect at times, but they found a way to hang in there.

“They’re a good team, the Falcons. They came at us hard. We started a lot better than the previous week, which was always going to important.”

Murray’s happy with the level of improvement and how the middle forwards performed.

The side is training this week as usual, but the players will rest and refresh on the weekend before getting back into training next week.

Halfback Cameron Cullen sat Saturday night’s game out due to a lingering shoulder injury, but young gun Cody Hunter stepped up and had a great game.

Cullen will have an extra week to recover and see where he’s at before the Preliminary Finals round.

The side doesn’t have too many injury concerns and Jeremiah Simbiken is expected to recover from a hamstring injury in time for the next game.

While the schedule for the Preliminary Finals is not yet available, Murray is hoping a big Redcliffe crowd will be there to cheer the boys on at Moreton Daily Stadium on September 17.

|“The Falcons’ supporters were really vocal (on Saturday night). They were right into us. We’d love to have as much support as we possibly can. The boys respond to it, we love playing at home,” he says.|

“This week is about letting the boys recover. We’ll pick out a few things that we can get better at. The Warriors’ players are all finished and at all our sessions. We’re getting some good training blocks with those guys. We’ll focus on our opponent next week.”

If Aaron Pene’s hair at last weekend’s game is any indication, the Warriors’ boys truly feel part of the Redcliffe Dolphins’ team and the chance to play in a Grand Final would be the perfect send-off.

Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap
Aaron Pene shows his Dolphins colours. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL
Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap
Cody Hunter in action. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL
Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap
Liam Hampson. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL
Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap
Setu Tu in action. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL
Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap
This dangerous tackle resulted in a penalty. Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL
Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup finals roadmap
Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL

Finals roadmap

Norths Devils and the Redcliffe Dolphins have secured Hostplus Cup Preliminary Final berths with their opponents to be decided in week two of the finals this weekend.

The Devils enjoyed a thrilling 20-19 victory over the Burleigh Bears putting the 2021 premiers just one win away from a second consecutive Grand Final appearance.

Redcliffe’s Preliminary Final match will be against the winner of the week two finals showdown between the Bears and Central Queensland Capras at Moreton Daily Stadium on September 17 (time to be confirmed).

In the Hastings Deering Colts, Townsville Blackhawks and Central Queensland Capras are through to the Preliminary Final weekend.

The Blackhawks beat the Dolphins 36-20, while the Capras knocked over 2021 premiers the Wynnum Manly Seagulls 24-20.

It means the Seagulls enter sudden death mode against Tweed Seagulls, who stayed in the premiership hunt with a last-gasp win over Brisbane Tigers.

The Dolphins will get a shot at redemption this weekend whey the play the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the other elimination final.

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