Development key for Dolphins ahead of Ipswich challenge

While they have not had the results they would have wanted to achieve this season in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competition – the Redcliffe Dolphins are happy to see the progression the players have made since they ran on for their first game and are looking forward to taking on the Jets this weekend.

Last weekend, the Dolphins pushed the second-placed Souths Logan Magpies in a performance coach Mark Shipway labelled their “best game of the season”.

This weekend, the side will take on an Ipswich Jets side who proved too strong for the Northern Pride.

Redcliffe Dolphins training hard. Photo: Redcliffe Dolphins Media
Redcliffe Dolphins training hard. Photo: Redcliffe Dolphins Media

“We have come a long way since the start of the season,” Shipway said.

“Our hooker and halves have worked on their combinations and I was pleased in that regard when it comes to the progression of the team.

“Our hooker (Logan Cox) is in his second year but for the halves it has been a steep learning curve – but they have been showing promising signs.

“Before this weekend against the Jets – I think we have been progressing and we have been getting the process right.

“Percentage wise at training – 95% of what we are going has been focusing on our systems and trying not to answer things individually which was been happening a bit early on.

“About 5% will be on making the adjustments to what their team will throw to us.

“The Jets have a unique game plan which we know they will be different from anything the players have faced before – but we can prepare for the short kick-offs and working on our defensive line.”

Redcliffe Dolphins training. Photo: Redcliffe Dolphins Media
Redcliffe Dolphins training. Photo: Redcliffe Dolphins Media

With the end of this Under 18 competition regular season drawing closer – Shipway was pragmatic about the clubs results this season; but was looking to the future and hoped the players were taking valuable lessons from this season.

“It is a massive transition (into this competition) for many of the players; some of them are still at school,” Shipway said.

“Some players like Brenton Clements (five-eighth), Lachy Patterson (who has moved up into the Hastings Deering squad) and Colby Richardson are from our Country Academy and have also had to deal with relocating from regional areas; which is another big adjustment at that age.

“For all the players it is such a step up from their normal junior footy.

“Hopefully, they will take everything they have learnt back to their clubs (at the end of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup season.”

Round 5 fixtures will kick off tomorrow night (Friday, April 6) with the Townsville Blackhawks hosting the Mackay Cutters. It will continue into Saturday with the Phins v Jets match, while a busy afternoon sees the Falcons hosting the Northern Pride, the Devils at home to the Western Mustangs.

The round will wrap up on Sunday with a morning match-up between Easts Tigers and CQ Capras preceding an exciting clash between Tweed Seagulls (third) and Wynnum Manly (first) leading into the match between Souths Logan at home to Burleigh Bears.