REDCLIFFE'S speedy outside backs have proven too slick for the Sunshine Coast Falcons to handle as the Dolphins ran away with a 34-14 victory in Round 12 action of the Intrust Super Cup.
The 20-point margin didn't properly reflect the enduring effort the Falcons managed to produce against the Dolphins who were aided by livewire performances from Zach Strasser, Paul Byrnes, Aaron Whitchurch and a man-of-the-match display from hooker Cameron Cullen.
Elsewhere in Round 12 Titans recruit James Roberts starred in his first outing as Tweed Heads proved too strong for CQ Capras 42-14, Easts Tigers upset ladder-leading Ipswich 22-12, young Canberra stars Jack Ahearn and Brenko Lee scored in Souths Logan's 42-22 win over Mackay, Kodi Nikorima scored twice in Norths' 32-24 win over the PNG Hunters and Northern Pride returned to the winners' circle with a 26-10 defeat of Burleigh.
The Sunshine Coast had a new man at the helm with their Colts coach Glen Dreger stepping up to replace the recently departed Ivan Henjak to become the 100th coach in the Intrust Super Cup.
The Falcons started in enthusiastic fashion and were unfortunate to fall behind eight minutes in after conceding an obstruction penalty in front of their own goal line. From the resulting set Redcliffe hooker Cameron Cullen wrestled his way over the line with ease, taking advantage of some feeble defence to hand the Dolphins a 6-0 lead after Adrian Davis added the extras.
Sunshine Coast managed to survive two referrals to the video referee within the next 10 minutes after on-field referee Liam Kennedy correctly ruled no-try on both occasions. The first incident saw Whitchurch lose the ball over the line and the other involved Marty Hatfield being held up short of the stripe.
The visitors couldn't manage to hold out for much longer though as Redcliffe increased their lead in the 25th minute when Cullen put Sarafu Fatiaki through a gap, taking the score to 10-0.
Five minutes later the Falcons managed to strike back with a try to makeshift centre Rueben Baillie; however this was soon countered by a try to Redcliffe five-eighth Zach Strasser. The four-pointer was converted by Davis handing the Dolphins a 16-4 lead with three minutes left in the half.
The Dolphins soon extended their advantage after the break when Joe Bradley strolled over from close range four minutes into the second stanza. Redcliffe scored another converted try six minutes later after going the length of the field through Paul Byrnes, taking the score to 28-4.
Sunshine Coast crossed for their second try in the 55th minute when captain Ryan Hansen charged over the line and converted his strong work from in front of the posts to narrow the deficit to 18 points. The Falcons managed back-to-back tries when Baillie crossed for his second to take the score to 28-14 with 15 minutes to go.
The Falcons had developed the ascendancy and were soon involved in a contentious decision when Hansen charged through the middle of the Dolphins and toed a grubber kick behind the line, but was taken out in the process retrieving the ball by Byrnes. Redcliffe survived the subsequent penalty and attacking raid by the Falcons.
To add salt to the Falcons' wounds, the Dolphins scoring another long-range try through Byrnes who backed up good work from Cullen to extend the lead to 20 points in the 72nd minute. Liam Georgetown added the extras to take the final score to 34-14.
Redcliffe Dolphins 34 (Paul Byrnes 2, Cameron Cullen, Sarafu Fatiaki, Zach Strasser, Joe Bradley tries; Adrian Davis 4, Liam Georgetown goals) def Sunshine Coast Falcons 14 (Rueben Baillie 2, Ryan Hansen tries; Ryan Hansen 1 goal) at Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe.
XXXX Man of the Match: Cameron Cullen
Final team lists:
1. Oliver Regan 2. Paul Byrnes 3. Aaron Whitchurch 4. Marty Hatfield (c) 5. Liam Georgetown 6. Zach Strasser 7. Adrian Davis 8. James Ackerman 9. Cameron Cullen 10. Jared Cherry 11. Sarafu Fatiaki 12. Joe Bradley 13. Tom Geraghty 14. Tom Rowles 15. Christian Morris 16. Martin Cordwell 17. Jon Green
Sunshine Coast Falcons
1. Callum Klein 2. Paul McKenzie 3. Rowan Klein 4. Travis Long 5. Kyle Van Klaveren 6. Brett Doherty 7. Jay Lobwein 8. Mboya Adams 9. Matt Gilliman 10. Ryan Hansen (c) 11. Jaz Nahu-Main 12. Jacob Samoa 13. Tom Murphy 14. Brenton Stonier 15. Rueben Baillie 16. Nathan Young 17. James Leavai