Rugby League

Dolphins shake off determined challenge from the Titans

February 19, 2024 5:32 am

[Source: NRL]

The Dolphins overcome some poor discipline and a determined Gold Coast Titans outfit to record a 26-14 win in their opening Pre-Season Challenge match at Sunshine Coast Stadium last night.

Fielding an experienced team in comparison to the young Titans, the Dolphins were expected to start strongly and did so, scoring the first try of the match with superstar signing Herbie Farnworth crossing the line after a nice pass from birthday boy Isaiya Katoa.

However, the Dolphins lowered their intensity to invite the Titans into the game, an invitation they gladly accepted, with the visitors responding soon after with Tony Francis showing some flair to go over in the right side after a tap-on from Aaron Schoupp.

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Francis – who last played in a losing Hostplus Cup grand final last year for the Burleigh Bears where he scored a hat-trick – was in again for a first-half double, giving the Gold Coast a well-deserved 8-4 lead at the break.

At half-time, the Dolphins had only had 40 percent of possession and completed 7/12 sets after making five errors and conceding six penalties, while the Titans had completed 15/19 sets, made four errors and conceded three penalties.

No doubt told where to make improvements during the half-time break, the Dolphins looked better in the second half and while winger Jack Bostock was initially denied a try by the Bunker, with replays determining the ball had been knocked on into a Titan in the lead up to him getting the ball down, they didn’t have to wait long to regain the lead.

Jarrod Wallace was the man to do it, scoring an easy try against his old team when Harrison Graham hit him with a good ball as he ran back inside to score under the posts to level the scores. The Dolphins went ahead 10-8 after Brenton Baira slotted the first conversion of the evening.

The home side then quickly went back-to-back with Bostock getting his try for the match after an error from the kick-off gifted the Dolphins more possession. Baira was in for plenty of action to close out the match, scoring extend their lead.

Despite the momentum shift, the Titans weren’t done, with halfback Tom Steadman, who is on a train-and-trial deal with the club, going in to score and perhaps cause a flutter in the hearts of Phins fans.

The restart went out on the full, giving the Titans a chance to capitalise, but they in turn made an error by not finding touch, with Baira fielding the ball.

The Dolphins then made sure not to continue the cycle of errors, with Baira’s burst upfield setting up their next try, a four-pointer to Connelly Lemuelu who eventually crashed over the other side of the field to finish the scoring for the evening.

In other preseason matches last night, the Broncos downed the Cowboys 46-20 in Mackay while the Wests Tigers edge past 12-man Warriors 18-16.