Intrust Super Cup: Phins win inaugural Ackerman Cup

On a beautiful clear Saturday night rugby league people from the Sunshine Coast, the Redcliffe peninsula and Brisbane flocked to Sunshine Coast Stadium to watch the Falcons and Dolphins pay tribute to James Ackerman in what was a wonderful night for our game.

The 16-12 final score line suggests a close game but in reality the Dolphins led from pillar to post and never looked like losing. The two teams opened the game with all the energy and enthusiasm you would expect in such an emotionally charged affair and it was end to end stuff early as they both made metres out wide.

Zach Strasser opened the scoring for the Dolphins in the 9th minute when he beat two defenders to score under the posts. Darren Nicholls converted for the early 6-0 lead.

The Falcons responded with arguably their best period of the game with Patrick Hollis and Tui Kamikamica making big metres. A Ryley Jacks cut out pass, off the back of the good work from his forwards, put Tony Tumusa into space on the left and he crashed over for the try to make it 6-4. The Falcons left edge was to be the most dangerous part of their attack all night.

With one minute to go in the half the Dolphins trapped the Falcons in goal and unbelievably the Falcons managed to get a player in front of the kicker from the drop out. From the ensuing penalty Darren Nicholls slotted the goal and the Dolphins went to the sheds leading 8-4.

The Falcons opened the scoring in the second half with a piece of individual brilliance from excitement machine Eddie Tautali. When coach Ingenrigsten left the Tigers at the end of last season he only took two players with him, inspirational leader Troy Geiss and Tautali. Tautali was the Falcons best on Saturday night and showed exactly why Ingebrigsten wanted him on the coast. With one scintillating run he displayed his pace, swerve and elusiveness to leave the Dolphins defence grasping at his shadow as he levelled the score at 8-8.

However these five minutes were to aptly sum up the Falcons night. Following Tautalis’ brilliance his teammates dropped the restart, big Aaron Whitchurch scored two tackles later, Darren Nicholls conversion bounced in off the upright and the Dolphins has skipped out to 14-8. Two minutes later the Falcons were penalised in front, Darren Nicholls slotted another goal and in five minutes they had taken an 8 point lead.

The Falcons last try also came from another piece of Tautali brilliance. Ryley Jacks put up a cheeky chip and chase on the last tackle, Tautali swooped on it and flew 20m before releasing Rowan Klein to score in the left. The conversion missed, as all of the Falcons kicks did and with 3 minutes to go the final score of 16-12 was set.

The Dolphins pack was simply too big and strong for the Falcons with Tyson Andrews and Hayden Hansen particularly impressive. Zach Strasser looked dangerous with ball in hand and Tom Opacic was a constant threat out wide.

The Falcons were by no means out classed and actually outscored the Dolphins three tries to two. Along with Tautali and Hollis, Tui Kamikamica and Ryan Hansen were their best. They again showed that they have all the ingredients to challenge anyone in the competition and once they get the one percent things to click they will be dangerous.

Redcliffe Dolphins 16 (Zach Strasser, Aaron Whitchurch tries; Darren Nicholls 4 goals) defeated Sunshine Coast Falcons 12 (Tony Tumusa, Eddie Tautali, Rowan Klein tries).


Final Teams:

Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Eddie Tautali 2. Tony Tumusa 3. Rohan Messer 4. Rowan Klein 5. Samuel Wright 6. Alex Bishop 7. Ryley Jacks 18. Tui Kamikamica 9. Robbie Ward 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Patrick Hollis 12. Joe Stimson 13. Jacob Samoa 14. Nafe Seluini 16. Logan Houghton 17. Jye Ballinger 21. Ryan Hansen

Redcliffe Dolphins: 1. Luke Capewell 2. Jonus Pearson 4. Aaron Whitchurch 3. Jack Ahearn 5. Thomas Opacic 6. Zach Strasser 7. Darren Nicholls 8. Sam Anderson 25. Hayden Hansen 10. Tyson Andrews 11. Harley Aiono 12. Anthony Cherrington? 13. Chris Gesch 9. Brandon Lee 15. Daniel Bridge 16. Charlie Faingaa 17. Rulon Nutira





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