2023 NRL Round 6: Dolphins 32, Cowboys 22

The Dolphins have produced a resilient effort to stun the Cowboys 32-22 in another intense all Queensland derby.

Result

The Dolphins 32
Tries: Jamayne Isaako (8, 14, 30), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (23, 80), Tom Gilbert (33)
Goals:
Jamayne Isaako (24, 31, 34, 76)
Field Goal:

North Queensland Cowboys 22
Tries: Kyle Feldt (16, 38), Coen Hess (51), Valentine Holmes (70)
Goals: Valentine Holmes (17, 40, 52)

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Report

A sell-out crowd was confirmed before kick-off as the anticipation for the Dolphins arrival in Townsville reached fever pitch. Humid conditions made ball control tricky for both sides, but it was Jamayne Isaako who scored the opening try for the Dolphins. Not long after his first try, Isaako produced a display of athleticism when he leapt to catch a cross-field bomb and score in one motion.

With the Dolphins up by eight points early, the Cowboys responded. Off the back of a penalty, they spread the ball through Scott Drinkwater and Kyle Feldt scored untouched in the corner. The game continued at break-neck pace, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow slicing through the defence for a try. After restoring their eight point lead, the Dolphins received a penalty when Coen Hess hit Isaiah Katoa late. Hess was sin-binned for the hit, which proved detrimental for the Cowboys.

With Hess off the field, the Dolphins added two tries, with Jamayne Isaako scoring his third try and Tom Gilbert adding another. However, in the shadows of halftime Kodi Nikorima was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle. The Cowboys found a try through Kyle Feldt, but the Dolphins held a strong 26-12 lead at the break.

Starting the second half, the Cowboys attacked looked clunky as they failed to add further points with Nikorima off. Despite this, they built pressure on the Dolphins to eventually crack the line, with Coen Hess scoring a much needed try. In the following sets, the Cowboys maintained control as they pressed for more points. The pressure started to show on the Dolphins with errors creeping into their game.

With 10 minutes to go, Valentine Holmes cashed in when he scored a crucial try, cutting the lead back to just four. The Cowboys sensed the Dolphins were struggling for energy and they lifted in hopes of grabbing the lead. However, Brendan Elliott was sin-binned for holding back Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow on a kick chase, which sealed the win for the Dolphins. The Cowboys unable to overcome the disadvantage, as Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow added one last try to seal a tough 32-22 victory.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (The Dolphins)
2 – Jamayne Isaako (The Dolphins)
1 – Tom Gilbert (The Dolphins)

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