Teenager gets nod for Dolphins debut

Published 1:16pm 28 February 2023

Teenager gets nod for Dolphins debut
Words by Nick Crockford

Isaiya Katoa, who has just turned 19, has won the race to be named Dolphins’ first NRL five-eighth on Sunday.

Katoa was locked in a battle with experienced Anthony Milford, but speculation increased today the talented teenager would face the Roosters.

That was confirmed this afternoon when the NRL teams for all Round One games were formally announced. 

Katoa has the number 6 shirt and will be part of the historic first Dolphins NRL side which runs out at Suncorp Stadium, kick-off 3.05pm.

Dolphins team: 1 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 2 Jamayne Isaako, 3 Euan Aitken, 4 Brenko Lee, 5 Tesi Niu, 6 Isaiya Katoa, 7 Sean O'Sullivan, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Jeremy Marshall-King, 10 Jarrod Wallace, 11Felise Kaufusi, 12 Kenneath Bromwich, 13 Tom Gilbert. Interchange: 14 Herman Ese'ese, 15 Mark Nicholls, 16 Ray Stone, 17 Kurt Donoghoe.

“He’s (Katoa) had huge preseason,” captain Jesse Bromwich said today. “I think kids these days are so much more confident than they used to be.

“He’s done a really good job at training and shown he has the skill and potential to be a really good first grader.

Starting point

“You have to start somewhere and I have full confidence in his ability. He’s got a pretty mature head on him and really good at organising.

“Coming into his first game he just needs to do his job and worry about his own performance.”

Bromwich also had few concerns about Katoa’s age and ability to handle the big time.

“When you play first grade you have to look after yourself,” he said. “He’s (Katoa) got a back rower in Felise Kaufusi who does a pretty good job protecting his halves as well.

When asked about Milford’s likely response, Bromwich added: “I’d love to see Milf fight for his jumper and fight for his spot.”

Teenager gets nod for Dolphins debut
Captain Jesse Bromwich who will lead Dolphins out on Sunday in their historic first NRL match

Huge week

Bromwich admitted the excitement is building ahead of Sunday’s historic opening NRL match for the competition’s newest team.

“It’s a huge week for the club,” he said. “We’ve spoken about it and really looking forward to it. It’s been a long time coming for the club.

“We sat back a couple of weeks ago and watched the first episode of the documentary (Dawn of the Dolphins).

"To see the amount of work everyone put in behind the scenes, stuff we usually wouldn’t see, was really interesting.

“We’re really grateful for those guys doing all the work, so we can be out here playing the first game for the club.

'Make them proud'

“To be a small part of the history of this club … I really couldn’t pass the opportunity up to be honest.

“I know this club has a lot of history, but it is the first NRL side. I look forward to running out with the boys for the first game against the Roosters.”

Bromwich said the team had a “nice presentation” with former Redcliffe Dolphins players handing over their prized jerseys.

“That was pretty special to meet a lot of the guys and put names to the faces,” he said, “to see what type of people the club was built on.

“I’m really grateful those guys took the time out to come and talk to us. We want to make them proud and all our families proud and the fans and members.”

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