Redcliffe Dolphins kept themselves in the hunt for a top two finish with an impressive win over the current competition leaders PNG Hunters who are just holding onto the top spot after the weekend results panned out.
Redcliffe proved why they are the Intrust super Cup’s best home side as they were in control early and never looked seriously likely to be headed for the afternoon. There was a period after the PNG Hunters finally got on the board in the second half, but Redcliffe weathered the storm and took a deserved victory.
The Dolphins were on early and scored through Joseph Bradley in just the fifth minute. The Hunters had their chances to match Redcliffe with four straight sets on the Dolphins line, but as so often happens in rugby league their raids were unsuccessful and were punished not long after when Curtis Johnston tapped back a cross field kick to the waiting hands of Troy Giess.
Off topic slightly it is always good to attend a match and see the things you may miss on TV. One of those favourite things is watching the Redcliffe winger Curtis Johnston in action. His enthusiasm and intensity is hard to match and great to watch. He seems so angry, a la Dallas Johnson back in the day, but it seems to help Redcliffe.
Not long after Redcliffe had crossed again through Daniel Bridge, and a penalty goal a few minutes later had the home side 20-0 in front at half time, and the Hunters looked very unlikely to turn that around on the second half.
Very unlikely looked near impossible not long after the break as Redcliffe crossed for their fourth try of the game through Myles Taueli, and at 26-0 only the most positive PNG Hunters fan could still see a victory on the horizon. The author being one.
But after some sustained pressure the Hunters finally crossed in the 56th through fullback Stargroth Amean, a man in form who proved that by doubling up five minutes later, and all of a sudden Redcliffe looked out of sorts and the Hunters were firing.
Not long after that fan favourite Willie Minoga looked to have scored again for the Hunters, and with a potential score line of 26-18 the Dolphins looked vulnerable. The try was disallowed, and that seemed to take some of the wind out of the Hunters sails, although they continued to throw the ball and try their hardest. Redcliffe sealed the game with a late penalty goal.
The win sees Redcliffe jump to outright third, and just one point behind second placed Sunshine Coast. PNG Hunters still hold the competition lead but the Falcons still have a bye up their sleeve, and with the Hunters having an inferior for and against they can’t afford one more than the Falcons if they want that minor premiership.
Finally, the crowd at Dolphin Oval was a credit to the Intrust Super Cup, with a 50m+ line up to get in still waiting after the game had already kicked off. It proves that the people of Brisbane do love their Sunday Football after all, and it is the Intrust Super Cup’s gain as the NRL continue to ignore the timeslot in Brisbane.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 28
Tries: Joseph Bradley (5m), Troy Giess (23m), Daniel Bridge (29m), Myles Taueli (42m)
Goals: Tyson Gamble 4/4 Conv, 2 Pens
PNG HUNTERS 12
Tries: Stargroth Amean (56m), Stargroth Amean (61m)
Goals: Ase Boas 2/2 Conv
The first game of a great Sunday double header is at Dolphin Oval for a match between the competition leading PNG Hunters and the fourth placed Redcliffe Dolphins.
Dolphin Oval was the setting for the Hunters first game in the Intrust Super Cup back in 2014, and repeating that winning day over Redcliffe on Sunday afternoon would be a step closer to a minor premiership in their fourth season. A fine achievement for the rugby league mad nation.
The head to head record at Dolphin Oval is a win a piece either side of a thrilling 28-28 draw in 2015. Coincidentally 28-28 was the score line from the Hunters game last weekend in Port Moresby against the Cutters as they dropped one competition point but extended their lead at the top after Sunshine Coast lost.
Redcliffe took advantage and closed within one point of the Falcons with a 42-6, and breaking a 2 game losing streak in the process after close losses to the Falcons and Seagulls.
They will need to be at their best against the Hunters to continue their chase for second, whose away record is much improved from 2016 and a competition benchmark with seven wins and just one loss so far this season.
One thing will be certain, it will be entertaining as ever, and I can’t wait to watch.
Previous 2017 Result – PNG Hunters 12 Redcliffe Dolphins 10
1. Zach Strasser 2. Joshua Beehag 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Tom Opacic 5. Curtis Johnston 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jack Ahearn 8. Nick Slyney 9. Hugh Pratt 13. Sam Anderson (c) 11. Daniel Bridge 12. Troy Giess 10. Samson Graham 15. Tyson Cleal 16. Shane Pumipi 17. Taylor Brown 20. Rulon Nutira
Coach: Adam Mogg
1. Stargroth Amean 2. Bland Abavu 3. Israel Eliab 4. Adex Wera 5. Butler Morris 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Wellington Albert 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Willie Minoga 12. Nixon Putt 13. Stanton Albert 14. Silas Gahuna 15. Enock Maki 16. Brandy Peter 17. Moses Meninga 18. Karo Kauna Jr 19. Wawa Paul 20. Rahdly Brawa
Coach: Michael Marum
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