Dolphins NRL second-rower Connelly Lemuelu says the team has grown since their first encounter with the Roosters in round one of their inaugural season and they will be working for another win on the weekend – this time in Sydney.
The Dolphins will be looking to repeat their historic opening-round victory (28-18) when they take on the Roosters at Allianz Stadium (7.35pm kick-off).
“It feels like ages ago but then at the same time it doesn’t feel too long ago that we played that first game. Everyone still has fond memories of that game. Everyone’s looking forward to another one this week and playing them again,” Lemuelu said after training today.
See photos from training at the end of this story
“I think we’ve grown a lot (since round one). It was a red-hot start for us, at the start of the season, but we’ve faced a few adversities coming in to where we are now,” he said.
“The season’s not done yet. We’ve still got a few more games and we’re still alive. We’re hoping to get a couple more results … towards the back end.”
It’s a goal the Roosters will also be chasing, just two spots ahead of the Dolphins on the ladder at 12th.
“They’ve been the benchmark for the last couple of seasons and they’re starting to find their feet in the competition this year as well. We’re expecting them to come out all guns blazing … they’re pushing for that finals spot as well. We’re expecting the best of them,” Lemuelu said.
Dolphins team list
The ‘GOAT’ Ray Stone will make his return to the Dolphins’ team from a broken hand suffered against the Panthers in round 20.
He will be on the interchange list at the expense of Herman Ese’ese, who will go back to 18th man.
Sean O’Sullivan and Isaiya Katoa will again start in the halves, with Anthony Milford waiting on the bench to perform an ‘impact role’ when needed.
Kodi Nikorima has been named at fullback, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in the centres.
The Dolphins have selected the same starting pack that narrowly went down to the Knights (30-28) in Perth last weekend.
Dolphins and Roosters’ legend Arthur ‘Artie’ Beetson will again be honoured by the two clubs during the match at Allianz Stadium.
The player of the game will be awarded the Artie Legacy Medal, which was won by Felise Kaufusi when the two teams met in March.
Lemuelu is looking forward to going up against ‘the big boys’ Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Lindsay Collins in this weekend’s game.
“It’s always fun coming up against players that are international players and players of that calibre. I’m just looking forward to going out there and holding my own. Hopefully the (Dolphins) boys can get a result this weekend,” he said.
“The culture we’re trying to build at the club is that we’re tough, we’re gritty and we’ll do all the small things to get the win.”
Saturday’s game will be screened on Channel 9, Kayo and Foxtel. Kick-off is at 7.35pm.
See the photos from training (click through)
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