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On a downward spiral

The Dolphins inaugural season has gone from bad to worse after going down to the Knights and Roosters in recent weeks.

After a strong start to the year, where they knocked off more high-profile teams including the likes of the Raiders, Cowboys, Sharks and even the Roosters early on, Wayne Bennett’s newbies have struggled through the tail end of the season.

Just a few weeks ago, the Dolphins looked strong against the Newcastle Knights, who after a dismal start to the season, have bounced back and propelled themselves into the top eight. Dolphins Jamayne Isaako’s first-half hat-trick wasn’t quite enough to keep the Dolphins alive. Isaako scored tries in the 23rd, 26th and 31st minutes as the Dolphins shot out to a 14-6 lead.

Hopes were high as the Dolphins still led 20-12 early in the second half, but Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga starred from that point on to give his side a 30-22 lead with eight minutes remaining. A comeback looked possible when Dolphins second rower Connelly Lemuelu crossed in the 73rd minute to reduce the margin to two points.

With just over three minutes remaining and fans on the edge of their seats, the Dolphins had a scrum just metres from the Knights’ line, but Herman Ese’ese gave away an easy penalty after holding onto an opponent’s jersey once the ball had left the area. It proved to be the final straw for the Dolphins, going down to the Knights 30-28.

In round 24, the Dolphins once again showed some potential against the Roosters. Hoping to beat them like they did back in the first round (28-18), they went out strong to lead 8-6 at halftime. But it wasn’t meant to be and once the Roosters found their groove, it became a one-sided affair. The Dolphins chances of a win slipped away, along with their finals run.

Adding to their loss woes, the Dolphins are also facing the remaining rounds without several of their players. Jeremey Marshall-King is out for the season, along with Tom Gilbert, both with shoulder injuries and Brenko Lee is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Ray Stone is a hopeful to return for round 27, following a broken toe and three players Connelly Lemuelu, Kenny Bromwich and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow are out until their round 26 clash with the Cowboys following head knocks.

You can still support the Dolphins in their final two home games of the season at Suncorp. Round 26 (Friday August 25) sees them up against fellow Queensland side, the Cowboys, before wrapping up the season on Saturday September 2 against the Warriors.


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