Dolphins revel in life on the road
As a player, Adam Mogg always revelled in away games.
He found it a motivating force to go deep into enemy territory and come away not only with pride intact, but two competition points.
He recalls a win with Redcliffe in Papua New Guinea almost 20 years ago as one of the most memorable of his career because of the trying conditions the game was played in and a home-town referee.
For Mogg, wins under adversity are more character-building than any success amongst the comforts of home and in part explain why Redcliffe has been able to glean five wins from eight games on the road in 2016.
Even the two games assigned as home games have had to be shifted to the unfamiliar surroundings of Southpine and Burpengary where they recorded wins over Ipswich and Easts respectively.
Having already travelled to Townsville and Papua New Guinea this season, Redcliffe's next away assignment while they await the completion of the $12 million redevelopment of Dolphin Oval is this Sunday in Cairns when they take on the Northern Pride.
Preferring to work week-to-week rather than set targets for his team to hit as the season progresses, Mogg sees neither advantage nor disadvantage based on venue alone, but his team is positioned well for a return to finals football for the first time since 2012.
“I don't discuss it at all. I just focus on how we're going to win and play,” Mogg said of their demanding schedule.
“We've been away for nine games and three trials, but the reality is you’ve still got to play on the same size field.
“We've won five and we've lost three and I'm disappointed we've lost three. We played better in the three games we lost than a couple of games that we won if I'm being honest.
“My expectation at this point in the season was that we'd be 8-0. We've played a couple of really good teams in the Blackhawks in Townsville and PNG in PNG, but the reality is we had a completion rate of 50% and lost by two points and four points."
Given Redcliffe's lack of success in recent seasons, a return to the top of the table is generating plenty of excitement around the peninsula.
For five years, Mogg was a member of the all-conquering Dolphins teams of the late 1990s that won four premierships in the space of seven years and featured in two further grand finals.
The additions in the off-season of Sam Anderson, Chris Gesch and Tyson Andrews helped to strengthen what Mogg saw as a weakness around the ruck area and had other clubs soon looking over their shoulders.
“Once I got my teeth into the pre-season I set my expectations really high and the players are well aware of what the expectations are this year," said Mogg, who was offered the position after Anthony Griffin replaced Ivan Cleary at the Panthers.
“We're all about winning premierships and if I don't do my job properly I expect that I won't be there and the players need to understand that's the expectation on them as well.”
The club is hopeful that their Round 11 fixture against the Norths Devils will be able to be played at a revamped Dolphin Oval and begin a run of seven consecutive games in front of their home fans.
“Redcliffe has got a very loyal supporter base that has been there a long, long time so it will be great for them to come back to their home ground and cheer on the boys,” Mogg said.
A former editor of Big League, Tony Webeck is the Chief Queensland Correspondent for NRL.com.