Two tries in the space of three minutes by winger Ken Tofilau looked set to spark a second-half comeback by the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras on Saturday night – but in the end the Dolphins proved too strong, claiming a 41-20 win.
The quick-fire double got the home side within eight points of Redcliffe and right back in the contest at 24-16 with 25 minutes to go.
But the Capras were unable to sustain the pressure and the quality Dolphins outfit ran in three more tries to record the victory at Browne Park.
Errors proved costly for the Capras, with the Dolphins seemingly able to register points from every one that was made.
“Disappointing” was the word that echoed through the post-match press conference with coach Kim Williams.
“We worked really hard to get back into the game in that second half and completed our first nine sets and we're back in the game and then the one error and we let in a try and it snowballed from there,” he said.
“That was our talking point in the shed – just being able to move on from errors and not snowball and make it worse and worse.
“The last 20 minutes we were our own worst enemy again and disappointing to concede that many points, for sure.
“Forty points is bordering on embarrassing and the boys certainly aren't happy about it.”
The Dolphins capitalised on a slow start from the Capras to lead by eight 11 minutes into the contest with tries to Jonus Pearson and Brandon Lee.
The Capras were on the scoreboard with 15 minutes left in the first stanza when an inside ball from Tofilau sent fullback Tony Tumusa over for his first try of the night.
A successful conversion from Tumusa had the Capras within two at 8-6.
The Dolphins hit back with four-pointers to Thompson Teteh and Troy Giess to take an 18-6 lead into the break.
The visitors were first to score in the second half when barnstorming forward Matt Lodge crashed over three minutes in to extend the lead to 24-6.
That stung the Capras into action and some enterprising attack on the left edge led to Tofilau landing his double to take the score to 24-16.
The Dolphins were in again to lead 30-16 before some individual brilliance from Tumusa got it back to 30-20.
But the points dried up for the Capras and the Dolphins kicked a field goal and crossed twice in the last 10 minutes to wrap up the game.
Capras forward Matt Groat said while the result was disappointing, there were positives the players could take from the game against the Dolphins, who he said were one of the benchmark teams in the competition.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 41 (Brandon Lee 2, Thompson Teteh 2, Matthew Lodge 2, Jonus Pearson, Troy Giess tries; Joshua Beehag 4 goals; Jack Ahearn field goal) def CQ CAPRAS 20 (Tony Tumusa 2, Ken Tofilau 2 tries; Tony Tumusa 2 goals) at Browne Park.