REDCLIFFE MINOR PREMIERS AFTER CRUSHING TWEED HEADS
The Dolphins celebrated their first minor premiership since 2012 with a huge 74-6 point win over the Tweed Heads Seagulls on Saturday night.
Knowing a win would seal a minor premiership no matter any other result, Redcliffe did it in style and with ominous ease for other sides in the finals against a Tweed Heads side with not a great deal to play for.
Tweed Heads were actually the first to score after 5 minutes to Nathanael Barnes, but it was to be their only joy, and there was plenty of misery to come.
Just three minutes after Dolphins halfback Darren Nicholls scored the first of his two tries for the evening. With a further 11 conversions on the night, he ended the night with a total of 30 points, good enough to take the lead in the points scoring table. Burleigh’s Jamal Fogarty can retake the lead tomorrow.
Tries then rained upon Dolphin Oval, with a further six to come before the break, including a first half hat trick to centre Daniel Randall and tries to Gesch, Bridge and Pearson. Redcliffe took a mighty 40-6 lead to half time.
Things didn’t get any easier for the Seagulls in the second half as the home side scored seven minutes after the break, through Aaron Whitchurch. The next period of the game resembled peak hour for the Dolphins as four tries came at almost five minute intervals. This included Daniel Randall’s fourth try of the evening in the 50th minute.
As if the Dolphins needed it, but they also wrapped up the evening with a final try in the 77th minute to recent Broncos debutant Jonus Pearson to really rub salts in the wounds of Tweed Heads and complete a double.
All in all Redcliffe scored 13 tries and kicked 11 of the 13 conversion attempts to wrap up the season’s biggest victory and most points scored. Their reward is a minor premiership, home final, and next week off to rest. With their winning run extended to eight games Redcliffe will take some beating in the finals series.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 74 – Tries: Nicholls (8m), Randall (14m), Randall (22m), Gesch (27m), Randall (33m), Bridge (36m), Pearson (39m), Whitchurch (47m), Randall (50m), Hazard (54m), Ahearn (61m), Nicholls (65m), Pearson (77m). Goals: 11/13 Conversions.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 6 – Tries: Barnes (5m). Goals: 1/1 Conversions.
Dolphin Oval will see a rare Saturday night fixture, and a win for Redcliffe will also deliver a minor premiership, which has also been a rare commodity in recent years. The last coming in 2012. So have finals appearances in which the last was also 2012.
The event of the last regular season home game is so big that no less than Timomatic will be there to get the crowd in the mood. A Saturday night fixture is a sign of the progress of the club with their new stadium, but as a Sunday afternoon traditionalist hope it doesn’t become the norm.
Redcliffe, unsurprisingly are the most in form team with 7 straight wins and 12 from their last 13. They have the best attacking record in the competition, although there is not much in it between Burleigh and Townsville. But they are well clear in the best defence stat, the shut out of the Capras last weekend underlining that fact.
The Dolphins have also done it the hard way after spending the first half of the season on the road waiting for the completion of the first stage of the redevelopment. The return to Dolphin Oval has coincided with their run to the top.
Everything on paper points towards the Dolphins taking the necessary win for the minor premiership. Tweed Heads avoided a potential wooden spoon last weekend, but are playing for pride and possibly getting as high as 12th. They did beat the Dolphins at Redcliffe last year though.
PLAYER TO WATCH – Jonus Pearson (Redcliffe) – has just re-signed with the Broncos until the end of 2017. With a potential spot on the wing for the Broncos up for grabs next year, a big finals series could see him become a regular Bronco in 2017.
Prediction: Redcliffe by 26
Redcliffe Dolphins v Tweed Heads Seagulls @ Dolphin Oval
Kick Off: Saturday 7pm
This Season: N/A
Last Season: Redcliffe 28 Tweed Heads 42
1. Jack Ahearn 2. Jonus Pearson 3. Daniel Randall 4. Aaron Whitchurch 5. Curtis Johnston 6. Zach Strasser 7. Darren Nicholls 8. Sam Anderson (c) 9. Shane Pumipi 23. Tyson Cleal 15. Brandon Lee 12. Daniel Bridge 13. Christopher Gesch 10. Charlie Faingaa 11. Johnnie Fox 17. Harley Aiono 25. Christian Hazard
Coach: Adam Mogg
Tweed Heads Seagulls
1. William Zillman 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. Leva Li 4. Timothy Cassidy 5. Jacob Garland 6. Doug Hewitt 7. Michael Burgess 8. Ethan Price 9. Sam Meskell (c) 10. William Bugden 11. Matthew Robinson 12. Oshae Tuiasau 13. Leivaha Pulu 14. Samuel Irwin 15. Josh Coyle 16. Shawn Anderson 17. Matthew Hundy
Coach: Aaron Zimmerle
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