Dolphins winger Jamayne Isaako marked his 100th NRL game with a personal haul of 18 points to help his side beat the Dragons 26-12 on Thursday night in Redcliffe.
The former Kiwi international continued his excellent 2023 form by scoring his 11th and 12th tries of the season, in addition to kicking five from five off the tee, as Wayne Bennett's side solidified their standing in the top eight with their seventh victory of the year.
Most of the damage was done in a six-minute period midway through the first half, during which time the Dolphins scored 18 unanswered points to set up a 18-12 half-time lead which they never looked back from.
Milford does it all himself
Earlier the Dragons kicked a penalty goal and crossed through Jack Bird to take the initial lead, but from that point on Toby Couchman's try right before the break was all they had to cheer for.
A determined effort from Isaako to grab a high ball and fight his way over was followed by an untouched try for Mark Nicholls and an individual effort from Anthony Milford.
Couchman strikes back
Isaako grabbed his second early in the second half after the hosts stripped the Dragons for numbers on the right, and that try took the wind out of St George Illawarra.
Isaako put the result beyond doubt with a penalty goal three minutes from time.
Match: Dolphins v Dragons
Round 13 -
Venue: Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe
- Dolphins winger Jamayne Isaako marked his 100th NRL appearance with a two-try, 18-point showing, which included four tackle busts and 65 NRL Fantasy points.
- The Dolphins missed 43 tackles compared to the Dragons' 23.
- Both sides completed well, with the Dolphins finishing 85 percent of their sets and the Dragons 81 percent.
- Despite spending 10 minutes in the sin bin, for a dangerous tackle which saw him placed on report in the 27th minute, Jack de Belin still got through 56 tackles and 113 run metres.
- Kodi Nikorima was placed on report for a high tackle on Jack Bird as he attempted to stop him from scoring in the sixth minute.
De Belin binned
- The Dolphins are now 2/2 at Kayo Stadium, having beaten the Raiders there earlier this season.
- The Dragons have won just one of their past 21 games played outside New South Wales.
Play of the Game
Pure desire from Jamayne Isaako to score the first of two tries in his 100th game. It began a six-minute stretch in which the Dolphins scored 18 points and assumed control of the game and was the Kiwi's 11th four-pointer for the season, equaling his best ever season tally in just his 12th game of the year.
Isaako flies for his try
What They Said
"It was a frustrating game as a whole for us... we made it way too hard on ourselves. Fair play to the Dolphins, I thought they played a good game of footy, hardly made an error and turned the ball over down our end of the field all night, we hardly saw their try-line. But when you concede that many penalties and six to go [infringements], and we had a sin-binning there, it's always going to be hard to come back." – Interim Dragons coach Ryan Carr
Dragons: Round 13
"I'm happy with it, don't have to be pretty to win, just got to get it done. [Jamayne Isaako] took the game by the scruff of the neck, kicked five out five, scored two tries, he was going to make sure he didn't come off the field for his 100th game without playing well." – Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett
Dolphins: Round 13
The Dolphins head across the Tasman for the first time next week to take on the Warriors in Auckland. With the game taking place on Saturday, three days after Origin I, it remains to be seen if their Maroons representatives will back up. The Dragons head away to face the Panthers at BlueBet Stadium, with Jaydn Su'A (knee) and Tautau Moga (shoulder) expected to be available again.