Round 7: 'Hammer' in spotlight

Published 3:30pm 12 April 2023

Round 7: 'Hammer' in spotlight
Words by Nick Crockford

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has played down a possible Origin match-up – but admits seeing two key players “should be a good spectacle” tomorrow night.

When Dolphins line-up against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium many will be watching the full backs – Hamiso (Hammer) Tabuai-Fidow and Latrell Mitchell.

Mitchell, 25, is a superstar of the NRL having built his reputation over 150 games with Australia, NSW, Sydney Roosters and now the Rabbitohs.

'Hammer', pictured above, is four years younger but has played for Queensland and made a stunning start to his Dolphins’ career scoring in all six NRL matches so far.

It’s that form which reportedly has Hammer on the radar of Maroons’ coach Billy Slater ahead of the 2023 series, which starts next month.

Coach Wayne Bennett who says is team is only as good as its last game.

Bennett said: “They are different types of players, but have wonderful skill and are competitive guys.

“I don’t think they’ll be playing against each other tomorrow night, they’ll be playing for their teams, but it should be a good spectacle.

“Latrell makes the (coaching) job easy. He’s footy savvy, likes being part of the team and making a contribution. Qualities you like in players.

“Hammer’s a good athlete, pretty fit guy and likes to compete out there. If we make half a break, he seems to get himself there.”

Alongside Hammer tomorrow will be winger Robert Jennings making his Dolphins debut in place of Edrick Lee, who Bennett said is “just not match fit enough”.

Robert Jennings who will make his Dolphins NRL debut tomorrow.

“To his (Lee’s) credit he recognises the same,” Bennett said. “He wasn’t all that keen to play last week, but we needed him and I asked him to do that.

“We’re doing the work with him now. (He’ll) go back and play state level. No fault of anyone's. He got over an injury and got another one.”

The Dolphins’ coach also warned against “getting too far ahead” after a fourth win in six games at the Cowboys left the NRL newcomers fourth on the ladder.

“If you believe the saying “you’re only as good as your last game” - that’s where I’m at,” Bennett said.

“We walked away from the Dragons two weeks ago and that wasn’t pretty. We got to play the Cowboys and we turn up there.

Jamayne Isaako who scored twice in Townsville to help beat the Cowboys.

“That’s the competition and the nature of what we do. You don’t get too far ahead of yourself. It’s pretty much a week-to-week proposition.

“We play again tomorrow night and need to show we can consistently play at a high level. We’ve just got to turn up again and do our best.”

Dolphins have also announced the signing of utility Max Plath, the son of Broncos legend John Plath, who can play in the halves and lock.

Max was training with Broncos, but Dolphins swooped after a fine display for Wynnum-Manly.

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