For the first time since Round 3 in 2016 the Village Motors Dolphins were facing three straight losses when they took on Easts Tigers in Round 14 at Dolphin Stadium.
The heavens had opened up for the traditionally tough clash with one of the competition’s great rivalries. Some heavy downpours of rain early Sunday morning had a huge effect on the playing surface which only enhanced the forward battle in the middle of the field.
In another interesting sideline to the game, the 1997 Queensland Cup winning team were celebrating a victory over the Tigers 20 years prior at a reunion hosted by the Club. That team of 97 would have relished the defence of the current crop of Dolphins in a brutal 80 minute display of intent that really had the home side in control for the entirety of the match despite the visitors opening the scoring in the 7th minute when prop Mark Nichols crashed over close to the posts. It would be another 65 minutes before the Tigers troubled the scorer as the Dolphins shifted into gear with the ball.
The first half would finish with the Dolphins well and truly on top both with the ball through tries to Myles Taueli, Christian Hazard and Zach Strasser and in defence with bone jarring contact in the boggy conditions.
The feeling in the Tigers sheds at half time would have been the need to score first in the second half to be a chance of winning so was the dominance of Redcliffe in the opening 40 minutes. That was not to be for Easts as the Dolphins English import Danny Bridge muscled his way over the try line in the 7th minute of the second half, with the conversion successful by Tyson Gamble.
The score remained at 22-6 and with the Dolphins defence dictating terms it was hard to see the visitors clawing back a deficit that was made seemingly larger due to the conditions.
Head Coach Adam Mogg was impressed with his side saying, “We did a lot of things very well today, our defence set the tone for the result and our spine of Hazard, Gamble, Strasser and Hugh Pratt were fantastic moving the team around”.
The Tigers hardly troubled the Dolphins try line in the second half with most of the ball possession stats in favor of Redcliffe. In fact the score could have blown out even further if some line breaks had been finished off but the wet conditions by that time where playing there part in the contest.
It was an overall performance for the 80 minutes from the Dolphins against a strong outfit that will figure in finals football this year. For the home team it was good to get back into the winner’s circle as the drive towards September where finals football will be on the horizon.