A double to fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow led the Dolphins to an emotion-charged 20-14 win over the Raiders on Saturday night.
With heavy rain falling throughout the second half it was the forwards who led the way for the Dolphins, laying the foundation for halfback Sean O'Sullivan and Tabuai-Fidow to work their magic.
The Raiders were first to strike in the 14th minute when Jack Wighton took a pass from Danny Levi and powered over from close to the line.
A loose offload by Tesi Niu in the slippery conditions handed the Raiders a chance to extend their lead but Dolphins skipper Jesse Bromwich came up with a one-on-one steal on Hudson Young to defuse the situation.
Come the 23rd minute and Wighton was starring at the defensive end, denying Jamayne Isaako with a diving cover tackle that knocked the ball from the winger's grasp.
A clever grubber by Tom Starling earned the Raiders a repeat set in the 29th minute and the Green Machine cashed in through winger Nick Cotric after slick lead-up work by Corey Harawira-Naera and Matt Timoko.
Wighton shows and goes
Dolphins hooker Jeremy Marshall-King was sin binned six minutes before the break for a hip drop and Jamal Fogarty knocked over the penalty goal to give Canberra a 12-0 lead.
Despite being a man down the Dolphins struck back when O'Sullivan grubbered and Seb Kris failed to clean up, allowing Tabuai-Fidow to pounce on the loose ball.
The Dolphins mounted pressure early in the second half when O'Sullivan earned a line dropout with a neat grubber but Mason Teague came up with a dropped ball and the pressure was released.
Cotric in the corner
Another inch perfect grubber by O'Sullivan in the 63rd minute laid on a try for back-rower Tom Gilbert, who showed great desperation to get to the ball first. Isaako's conversion tied it up at 12-12.
With 10 minutes to play, Tabuai-Fidow jumped out of dummy half close to the tryline and caught Young offside at marker. The Raider was sent to the bin and O'Sullivan landed the penalty goal to put the Dolphins up 14-12.
Just as the Dolphins took control, O'Sullivan was sin binned for making contact with Harawira-Naera's head after the Raiders back-rower had kicked ahead and Fogarty slotted the penalty goal for 14-14.
With the Kayo Stadium crowd in full voice the Dolphins worked their way downfield and five-eighth Isaiya Katoa went to the line and put Tabuai-Fidow into a hole for the match-winning try.
Match: Dolphins v Raiders
Round 2 -
Venue: Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe
- Dolphins hooker Jeremy Marshall-King was placed on report and sin binned for a hip drop tackle on Corey Horsburgh in the 34th minute.
- Mark Nicholls was strong off the bench for the Dolphins with 15 runs and 185 metres in 48 minutes of game time.
- Fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow was dynamic for the Dolpins with two tries and 164 running metres.
- Raiders bench forward Ata Mariota went on report in the 44th minute for a crusher tackle on Mark Nicholls, who was sent for a HIA.
- Dolphins forward Connelly Lemuelu left in the field in the 46th minute for a HIA. He did not return to the game.
- Raiders back-rower Corey Harawira-Naera came up with a number of telling hits in defence, tallying 38 tackles for the match.
- The Dolphins became the first new club to win their first two games since the Storm in 1998.
Marshall-King sent to the bin
- Raiders bench forward Ata Mariota left the field nine minutes into the second half for a HIA after copping a cut to the head.
- Seb Kris continues to do a fine job filling in at fullback for the Raiders, making 164 metres from 16 runs.
- Raiders forward Hudson Young was sin binned in the 70th minute for a professional foul.
- Dolphins halfback Sean O'Sullivan was sin binned in the 74th minute for high contact on Corey Harawira-Naera.
- Wayne Bennett has won 15 of his past 18 games against Ricky Stuart-coached teams.
Kaufusi at it again
Play of the Game
With his senior halves partner Sean O'Sullivan in the bin, young gun Isaiya Katoa stood tall to put the Dolphins in front with just two minutes to play. The 18-year-old in just his second NRL game showed composure beyond his years to go to the line and put a rampaging Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow into a hole to send the home crowd into raptures and give the Dolphins their second big scalp in a week.
The Hammer snatches the lead
What They Said
"Leaders lead and others follow them and that's what they are doing, they are following the leadership group here. (What was pleasing was) just refusing to give in, that first 25 minutes in that second half was pretty tough, they were continually on their tryline and they never gave up a try and they came back and counter-attacked and put themselves back in the game. First half we gave ourselves no chance because we were pretty ill-disciplined with the ball, but the second half we tidied that up." - Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett
Dolphins: Round 2
"It was tough, both teams threw a lot of effort in there and there was going to be one team disappointed and that was us, but I can't deny the effort from both teams. It went down to the wire and I spoke about it with the boys after the game, there was a lot of effort that went into that performance but unfortunately it wasn't our way." - Raiders coach Ricky Stuart
Raiders: Round 2
The Dolphins travel away from Queensland for the first time to tackle the Knights in Newcastle on Friday night. The Raiders are at home in Round 3, hosting the Sharks on Sunday night.