They might be the new team on the block but could the Redcliffe Dolphins NRL side prove to be one of the teams to watch this season? Although they were unable to match the power of the Gold Coast Titans in their second trial match in February, the Dolphins going down 40-16 on home turf, they certainly showed their worth when they took on the favourites of the north, the Cowboys, pulling off a 22-all draw in their other pre-season game.
Being the newbies in the competition is certainly going to up the ante for the Dolphins, but with a swag of players coming in from other clubs, it may take some time for them to find their feet. Coach Wayne Bennett is considered one of the most successful coaches in the game’s history and will make sure the proper foundations are in place, however even he has conceded it will likely take time in terms of results.
Jesse Bromwich has taken the helm as captain. This 33-year-old New Zealand skipper and former co-captain of Melbourne certainly has a big job ahead of him at the Dolphins, with his younger brother Kenny, former Storm teammate Felise Kaufusi and ex-South Sydney veteran Mark Nicholls beside him to share the load.
The club also has a number of representative forwards and some exciting young prospects in their wider squad and you can’t go past coach Bennett as being one of their greatest strengths. The former Broncos, Dragons, Knights and Rabbitohs mentor has assembled some talented staff around him. Dubbed the ‘Supercoach’, Bennett has also recruited a number of players who have previously played what is widely considered their best rugby league under him. He will be working to unlock the skills of signings like Anthony Milford and Brenko Lee, who have both played State of Origin and international football, when in good form.
The first new team to enter into the NRL since the Gold Titans back in 2007, the Dolphins have already built quite the fan base and will certainly bring a new dimension into the competition in 2023. The big test will come in round 4 (March 24) when the Dolphins take on fellow Queensland side the Brisbane Broncos, who will no doubt be out to show the new side their well-established place in the competition.
The next home game at Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe is on Saturday March 11 at 4.30pm against the Canberra Raiders. For further info visit dolphinsnrl.com.au