It took only two tight losses for the critics to jump on the back of the Redcliffe Dolphins.
With five premiership wins and numerous other grand final appearances since the inception of the statewide competition in 1996, it’s hardly a surprise that the Dolphins are judged more harshly than others.
But those who have already written off the Dolphins in 2014 following losses to the PNG Hunters and Northern Pride might have jumped the gun following their 24-12 victory over the Easts Tigers yesterday.
Redcliffe scored four tries and restricted the normally slick Tigers’ attacking machine to two on their way to clinching an important 24-12 Intrust Super Cup victory.
Forwards Jon Green, Sarafu Fatiaki and Jake Marketo set the standard in the middle, regularly forcing Tigers’ errors.
The Dolphins controlled the ball nicely, completing at just over 80 per cent in the opening 40 minutes as they took an 18-6 lead into half-time.
“I think that laid the platform for our win,” Dolphins coach Troy Lindsay said of his team’s completion rate.
Easts mounted a strong surge in the second half and closed the gap to six points after Donald Malone set up a try for classy five-eighth Cody Walker.
But the Dolphins steadied and sealed the victory in the closing stages when young gun Zach Strasser dummied and weaved his way through the line.
With a new-look squad, Lindsay said it would take time before the Dolphins clicked into full gear.
“It will take time, no doubt about it,” the former premiership winning Dolphins forward said.
“Players like Strasser, we haven’t seen a lot of him (due to his Broncos commitments), but it’s all starting to fall into place.”
Lindsay said the Dolphins’ main injury concern was livewire hooker Tui Samoa (broken nose).
Samoa played a crucial role yesterday, laying on a four pointer for Green in the 20th minute before scoring a burrowing try out of dummy half on the stroke of half-time.
The Dolphins play away to Tweed next Sunday, while Easts are back at Langlands Park against the PNG Hunters.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 24 (Zach Strasser, Jon Green, Sarafu Fatiaki, Tui Samoa tries; Adrian Davis 4 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 12 (Cody Walker, Grant Giess tries; Cody Walker 2 goals) at Dolphin Oval.