Rugby League

Dolphin demolition: Woolf's pack runs rampant to stun Eels

April 20, 2024 6:26 am

[Source: NRL]

Rookie fullback Trai Fuller has inspired a second-half blitz to lead the Dolphins to a stunning victory over Parramatta.

The Dolphins ran in 40 points after half-time to blow the Eels off the park in stifling conditions in Darwin.

Livewire Fuller ran for 177 metres and produced multiple highlight reel plays in just his second game in the NRL while Jeremy Marshall-King was at his sniping best from the base of the ruck in the 44-16 win.

Article continues after advertisement

The Eels led 10-4 after 45 minutes, however, the Dolphins then crossed for eight-straight tries in just 25 minutes to blow their opponents off the park.

The match was a window into the future for Dolphins fans with 2025 coach Kristian Woolf carrying the clipboard after Wayne Bennett was unable to travel to Darwin due to illness.

Bennett wasn’t the only Dolphin absent, with the side struck down by a host of injuries in recent weeks. Seven players were unavailable for selection, including Thomas Flegler and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

The match was played in hot, humid conditions at TIO Stadium in Darwin, with the temperature sitting at 32 degrees at kick off.

Shaun Lane opened the scoring for the Eels in the 16th minute after a dominant start to the game. The forward ran a tough line to crash over from short range and ensure his side turned pressure into points.

Parramatta winger Sean Russell was denied by a toe on the touchline moments later, however there was no stopping centre Will Penisi who stepped and spun his way through the Dolphins defensive line in the 26th minute.

An Eels error the set after points handed the visitors a chance to hit back and they made no mistake. Halfback Isaiya Katoa attacked down the short side before throwing a looping ball over the top to winger Jack Bostock who finished in the corner to make it 8-4 after 33 minutes.

A Clint Gutherson penalty goal put his team up six shortly after the break before Dolphins centre Tesi Niu charged on to a Katoa no-look pass to level the scores.

Woolf’s side was in front moments later, Marshall-King darting from dummy half to lay the platform for a stunning Fuller long-range try.

The hooker was at it again soon after, slicing through the Eels defence before linking up with Max Plath to make it three tries in six minutes.

The onslaught continued with Plath again on the end of a stunning piece of attack, the Dolphins throwing the ball around and running their opponents ragged in the sticky conditions.

Jake Averillo won the race to the ball in the 60th minute to make it 30-10, before Bostock added two more and Niu crossed for his second. Dylan Brown scored a late try for the Eels, however the result was already beyond doubt.