Plenty of juniors and fans took advantage of the free entry offered at Dolphin Stadium to head down to watch the Redcliffe Dolphins get home over a determined Wynnum Manly Seagulls, 50-18.
Despite the large scoreline; it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Dolphins who struggled in the early stages of the game to find their cohesion, giving the Seagulls the perfect opportunity to put first points on the board through prop Stedman Lefau in the third minute.
A strong run from the Dolphins fullback Tony Tumusa put a spark in the home sides attack, giving Bryce Donovan good field position to score in the 15th minute.
The Seagulls fast start was something Dolphins captain Cameron Cullen said the home side wasn’t expecting.
“We were under the pump in the first 10 – 15 minutes, so it was a pretty ordinary start from us which is something we’ll look to fix up,” Cullen said.
“But we’ll take a positive out of the fact that we sort of weathered the storm and came out and put some points on and played really good footy.”
An intercept and offload from the Dolphins gave them a momentum shift, before Jonus Pearson ran 80m to score in the 22nd minute, but it wasn’t without strong cover defence from the Seagulls.
It was end-to-end football before Cullen’s last tackle kick in the 33rd minute skimmed into the in-goal, however, Tom Opacic had too much pace, scoring just on the dead ball line.
Kotoni Staggs burrowed down to score from close range in the 37th minute, rounding out the first half giving Redcliffe an 18-6 lead.
The Dolphins wasted no time on the scoring front in the second half, picking up right where they left off before the break with a flick pass from Tumasa finding Staggs who was to strong and fast for the defenders.
Despite the Seagulls struggles to get on the board in the first half, they did attempt to mount a comeback, with Kalolo Saitaua scoring in the 49th minute.
Dolphins coach Adam Mogg was proud of how the team played; but was aware that there was room for improvement.
“The score line got away from us a bit there, but I thought that they played some really good footy, and we had a couple of really big plays that blew the score line out a bit,” Mogg said.
“I thought we had an opportunity to put them away early.”
The game between the two rivals wasn’t without its emotion, with Dolphins prop Sam Anderson and Seagulls second rower Atelea Vea both being sent to the sin bin, after an altercation.
“It did get a bit fiery, and we knew it was going to be a bit like that, these Wynnum v Redcliffe games, they turn up and they’re ready to go when they play us. Even though it got a bit fiery, we were able to weather that, and play really composed,” Cullen said.
Next weekend, the Dolphins head to PNG to take on the Hunters in a game that Cullen said will be tough.
“Really looking forward to heading to PNG next weekend, I think that was one of our toughest games this year, so over there it is only going to be tougher. We know we’re in for a really hard game, which is exciting,” Cullen said.
The Seagulls will take on Tweed Heads at Stradbroke Island in the Channel 9 TV game.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 50 (Bryce Donovan 2, Tom Opacic 2, Kotoni Staggs 2, Jonus Pearson, Jamil Hopoate, Tony Tumusa tries; Kotoni Staggs 7 goals) def WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 18 (Stedman Lefau, Kalolo Saitaua, Alex Barr tries; Patrick Templeman 3 goals) at Dolphin Stadium.