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Round 11 Saturday wrap: Dolphins win James Ackerman Cup; Bears power on

Redcliffe Dolphins have continued their merry midseason run up the Hostplus Cup ladder after dominating Sunshine Coast to claim the James Ackerman Cup.

The Dolphins went into the sheds at Sunshine Coast Stadium up 12-0 and led 24-6 up until the last 10 minutes, before the Falcons scored two late tries. Redcliffe sealed it with a penalty goal in the dying stages to complete the 26-16 win.

Dolphins coach Ben Te'o said it was an honour to win "a big event for these two clubs" and especially the likes of Cameron Cullen, a former teammate of Ackerman, who acknowledged the family speaking after the victory.

Despite the scoreboard, the Dolphins coach said while a fifth straight win was great, his side "played well in patches" and was slowly getting away from "inconsistent" performances that plagued them earlier in the season.

"We're not getting ahead of ourselves. We're still just chipping away and there some teams up the top we're still sort of chasing," he said.

"I thought Dunamis Lui was strong up front, Max Plath has played his role in making us what we are at the moment and Harrison Graham really came on and got us going good, so those are three players who stood out to me tonight."

Te'o hoped the lessons learnt in the first half of the season would drive more consistency in the second half of the season, even in the face of regular changes in personnel.

In Ipswich, Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt lauded his side's defence to keep winless Ipswich scoreless in a huge win.

Tony Francis scored a hat-trick for the visitors in a 54-0 win, helping his team maintain top spot on the ladder.

"It was about putting at 80-minute performance together and I think we did that defensively. We probably gave them too many opportunities down our end but to come away with a zero on the scoreboard is very pleasing," Burt said.

"I thought our middles were really strong to start with. I've got to give it to Thomas (Mikaele), Izack (Fa'asuamaleaui), Patty (Politoni) and Sam Coster there in the middle. They set a really good standard for us and won the ruck both in attack and defence, which set it up for us.

Pat Politoni high-fives after scoring a try. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL
Pat Politoni high-fives after scoring a try. Photo: Jacob Grams/QRL

"It was a fantastic start to the match and the plan was to start quick, and they did."

The coach was also pleased with his side's persistence in the opening throes of the second stanza as the Jets defended set after set on their own line for the best part of 20 minutes.

"It was probably what we needed. It was good the boys were happy to go set for set. I'm glad we didn't get bored of what we came here to do and we just kept working at it and came away with points late," he said.

Burleigh goes into the midway point of the season in a "perfect" position clear on top of the ladder, but Burt said there was still improvement in his side in terms of their discipline and it will need to be on point against red-hot Souths Logan next week.

In the second edition of the 'flockbuster' at Piggabeen, Wynnum Manly celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 3. Despite the absence of Deine Mariner and Delouise Hoeter, the away side showed every bit of their attacking prowess to chalk up six tries in a 38-18 win.

In Port Moresby, Northern Pride worked hard for a come-from-behind victory against the Hunters. PNG went into the break 16-6 up, but the visitors had the lead with 20 minutes remaining and sealed it with a try to Will Partridge, who was on the end of a spectacular play that started with a kick and regather by Rashaun Denny.

Central Queensland Capras were made to earn a 36-25 win at home. The two sides were locked 24-all until the 69th minute when Bryce Donovan kicked a field goal. But the Capras had the last laugh when Oliver Gildart scored his second of the night in the 76th minute, before Brandon Roberts sealed it in the 79th.

Mackay Cutters came within a whisker of their first win of the season in a spirited effort at home to Brisbane Tigers. The Cutters flew out of the gates with two tries in the first six minutes, before the visitors started to find their groove and grind it back to 18-all at half time. The two teams traded tries after the break, then Kane Bradley broke the deadlock for the Tigers in the 72nd minute. Mackay winger Jaylan To'o crossed with seconds remaining but Brandon Finnegan could not level the scores with his conversion attempt, Brisbane escaping with a 30-28 win.

Main image: Brayden McGrady reaches for the try line. Photo: Mitchell Ensby/QRL


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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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