The Redcliffe Dolphins have upset ladder leaders Sunshine Coast Falcons, snapping the home side’s record-breaking winning streak.
Four penalty goals to gun five-eighth Tyson Gamble - back at the Dolphins after a stint at Wests Tigers - helped the Dolphins take the 14-10 win.
It was a depleted Falcons who took to Sunshine Coast Stadium in the Round 15 clash against the Dolphins, with the home side missing one third of their regular talent.
In a dour affair, the ninth-placed Dolphins managed to hold on with a gritty win despite a try-less second half as their opponents were unable to find any sustained rhythm in attack.
The game opened with the Falcons penalised for an incorrect play the ball following the very first tackle of the game. The Dolphins elected to kick for goal and placed themselves in the lead less than two minutes into the match.
The Falcons then looked to move the ball around during the early stages of the match, sending the ball out wide with ease, but they were unable to convert many of their opportunities into points.
The Dolphins' size and strength appeared to rattle the Falcons from start to finish as the home side lacked enthusiasm and cohesion.
In a stop-start affair neither side were managing to complete their sets prior to the Falcons crossing for the first four pointer of the game.
The try came after Harry Grant put brand new Melbourne Storm recruit Darryn Schonig through a hole and the big prop made no mistake, storming to the try line.
Siti Moceidreke slotted the goal, putting the Falcons in the lead 6-2 after 12 minutes.
Grant seemed to relish taking on more responsibility with halfback Todd Murphy not on the field; the hooker found success scooting out of dummy half and eating up plenty of metres through the middle.
Redcliffe were the next to score in the 22nd minute with Schonig’s opposite number Nathan Watts putting the ball down under the posts before Gamble secured a further two points with the conversion. The visitors were leading 8-6 after 24 minutes.
Two piggybacks down the field through Dolphins infractions gave the Falcons a wonderful scoring opportunity in the 33rd minute, however the try to Jake Ainsworth wasn’t to be with the final pass called forward.
The Dolphins closed out the first half with a penalty shot, heading to the dressing sheds with a 10-6 lead.
Match: Falcons v Dolphins
Round 15 -
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
The Falcons were the first side to threaten in the second half with a Nat McGavin break for the line looking like a certain try. The Dolphins were up for the challenge though, pushing the fleet footed fullback over the sideline before he could put the ball down.
It was sensible football from the Dolphins as they continued to kick for goal whenever they were handed an opportunity within kicking distance. The visitors elected to rely on the boot of Gamble at the 55th and 64th minute respectively following penalties against the Falcons.
The Dolphins five-eighth wasted no time putting the ball over and further extending Redcliffe’s lead on both occasions.
With the score at 14-6, the Falcons looked to be fast running out of time to chase the Dolphins down with only 15 minutes left on the clock.
There were repeated attempts down the right side for Falcons before a Cooper Johns cut out pass finally found a diving Jono Reuben and the Falcons were over for their second try.
Faced with a difficult kick, Moceidreke went agonisingly close with the ball just grazing the upright before bouncing wide. The score was 14-10 with eight minutes left.
There was plenty of excitement in the final minutes as the Falcons looked to their right side attacking weapons Moceidreke and Reuben, but it simply wasn’t the Falcons' night with the passes not quite finding their targets and the Dolphins coming away surprising winners.
The Dolphins, no doubt buoyed by the win, face Ipswich Jets in Round 16.
Match: Jets v Dolphins
Round 16 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve, Brisbane
The Falcons will take on Northern Pride.
Match: Pride v Falcons
Round 16 -
Venue: Barlow Park, Cairns