AN opening try-scoring burst in the first half – including two quick tries from fullback Stewart Mills – helped the Redcliffe Dolphins post a 32-18 win over Tweed Heads at a steamy Piggabeen Sports Complex yesterday.
Mills started the scoring for the visitors early, then played a hand in their second try which was scored by five-eighth Zach Strasser – who also scored a double– before rounding out a strong half for himself by scoring his second to put the Phins out to an early 16-0 lead.
The Seagulls however were their own worst enemy; dropping the ball on the first tackle on a number of occasions to gift their opposition the ball and position.
They finally managed to put their play together when Michael Burgess pounced on a jabbed kick ahead to open their account with halftime less than 10 minutes away.
The home side were on course to add to their tally and were attacking the Redcliffe line until a ball went to ground and was tapped back into the field of play; only for the Dolphins to pick it up and run almost the length of the field with Strasser scoring against the run of play – later resulting in a 22-6 halftime lead.
The second half began with an end-to-end slog that befitted the heavy conditions.
The Dolphins however were the team to break through again, with co-captain Jon Green showing great skills with his hands to catch a ball which could have gone past his head and crash over to put his team further in front.
Seagulls forward Damien Sironen – who was part of a pack who tried hard but could not produce the same impact as their rivals – scored a front-rowers try purely by strength after the home side were able to take advantage of a scrum. With the successful conversion by Beau Henry – the Dolphins lead narrowed to 28-12.
All afternoon, the Dolphins had probed the relatively inexperienced Seagulls down the edges, but it was a player on debut who next capitalised, with Oliver Regan getting a try in is first Intrust Super Cup game for the Dolphins for a 32-12 lead.
With the clock winding down, Tweed Heads managed a consolation try scored by Tom Merritt. However, it was their best of the afternoon, with quick hands and good passing finding the winger out wide who ran into a gap.
The Seagulls next travel to Mackay to take on the Cutters in an important match, while Redcliffe will host the CQ Capras.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 32 (Stewart Mills 2, Zach Strasser 2, Oliver Regan, Jon Green tries; Adrian Davis 4 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 18 (Tom Merritt, Michael Burgess, Damian Sironen tries; Beau Henry 3 goals) at Piggabeen Sports