Dolphins NRL lose thriller at Redcliffe

Published 11:15pm 1 June 2024

Dolphins NRL lose thriller at Redcliffe
Words by Kylie Knight

Fans, players and Head Coach Wayne Bennett felt the Dolphins were hard done by in their 26-25 Golden Point loss to the Raiders at a packed Kayo Stadium at Redcliffe tonight.

It was a disappointing end to a seesawing contest, in wet conditions, which had the poncho-clad home crowd on the edge of their seats.

The Raiders’ Jordan Rapana kicked the winning field goal in the 87th minute after a similarly successful kick by the Dolphins’ Jamayne Isaako was disallowed minutes earlier.

It was deemed that the Dolphins’ Max Plath had blocked the Raiders’ players from reaching Isaako, while a similar move by the Raiders’ Joseph Tapine was cleared.

Head Coach Wayne Bennett, who has previously said he’s not a fan of Golden Point, made it clear he was unhappy with referee decisions, particularly in the final few minutes of the game.

“You’ll have to wait until Monday when Graham Annesley gives his report about all the mistakes they made,” he said.

“The Joe Tapine at the end there, was that any worse than what Max Plath did?

“I got two players knocked out tonight and no reports, no penalties … both were head-highs and they both had to go off the field so … as I said, you’ll have to ask them, I can’t answer those questions.

“Connelly go knocked there with a really forceful head-high, trying to pick up a loose ball on the ground … there was no action taken there. Then there was the other one with Herbie Farnworth. No action was taken.

“Both times, they get sent by the doctor in the bunker for head assessments because they’ve been hit in the head.

“Nothing’s going to change. I accept that. My players need some answers, that’s all. That’s the only satisfaction we’ll get.

“There’s nothing I can do now, players can’t do anything. Nothing’s going to change.”

Bitter blow

It was a costly game for the Dolphins, with captain Jesse Bromwich injured just three minutes in.

“We’re just not sure if he’s hurt his chest, just not sure how bad he is or what’s actually going on there,” Bennett said.

“The doctors aren’t sure at the moment. We’ll get some scans and have a look at it.”

Trai Fuller has recovered from a knee to the jaw, which forced him from the field in the 64th minute, after a try-saving tackle.

As expected, it was a physical game and the Dolphins had to match it with the Raiders’ powerful forwards without Bromwich.

Mark Nicholls said the side rallied to fill the gap.

“That’s their strength (Canberra), their forward pack. Obviously, it hurts when you lose someone so early in the game but I thought we covered it pretty well. Ray (Stone) just came on earlier than what he would normally. He did the job for us, through the middle,” Nicholls said.

“It hurts to put in all that effort after losing a guy early and losing Trai to a HIA … we had guys playing everywhere but unfortunately didn’t get the two points.

“I’m not going to say we didn’t get the ‘rub of the green’. At the end of the day, we worked pretty hard to get back into the game and we had a few chances to win it, we just unfortunately couldn’t ice it.”

See the photos gallery from the game

By Dominika Lis

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