The Dolphins will be eager to finish their debut season with a victory in Round 27, but face a finals-bound Warriors side who haven’t lost in two months.
While the Kiwi side can’t move any higher than their current standing in third, a loss against the Dolphins coupled with a Storm win over the Broncos would see them drop to fourth, so they still have plenty to play for on Saturday.
After holding a team to under 12 points for the first time since Round 20 last Friday against the Dragons, Andrew Webster will be hoping his side have rediscovered their hard edge defensively, as they seek to secure a club record-equaling eighth win in a row.
It’s a very different situation for the Dolphins, who haven’t won since the middle of July and face ending their first season without a win in their final seven games.
While they fought hard in an eventual 34-10 loss to the Cowboys, Wayne Bennett’s men put themselves under far too much pressure by making 13 errors and completing at just 63 percent.
Those stats were off brand for them in 2023, with the Dolphins having committed the fewest errors in the NRL through 26 rounds.
Earlier this year the Warriors came away with a 30-8 win when these two sides met in Auckland, but at Suncorp Stadium the Warriors have lost their last three and five of their previous six.
Dolphins: No late changes. Centre Euan Aitken dropped out on Friday, his place taken by Valynce Te Whare. Skipper Jesse Bromwich returns from a groin injury to lead the Dolphins in their final game, pushing Jarrod Wallace to the bench. Prop Josh Kerr misses the game through suspension so Max Plath joins the bench.
Warriors: No game day changes after Kalani Going and Paul Roache were added to the bench on Friday to make their NRL debut. Jackson Ford is being rested. Coach Andrew Webster has opted to rest the majority of his frontline stars. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak join Shaun Johnson in sitting out Round 27, which opens the door for Taine Tuaupiki, Ed Kosi and Ronald Volkman to have a run in their preferred positions. Te Maire Martin makes his long-awaited return at five-eighth in place of Luke Metcalf (hamstring). Hooker Wayde Egan is replaced in the starting side by Freddy Lussick, while Mitch Barnett returns from a leg laceration to replace Addin Fonua-Blake at prop. Captain Tohu Harris is out with a back injury, so Dylan Walker starts at lock.
Match: Dolphins v Warriors
Round 27 -
Fullback for Dolphins is number 1 Hamiso Tabuai-FidowFullback for Warriors is number 1 Taine Tuaupiki
Winger for Dolphins is number 2 Jamayne IsaakoWinger for Warriors is number 2 Edward Kosi
Centre for Dolphins is number 3 Tesi NiuCentre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco Berry
Centre for Dolphins is number 18 Valynce Te WhareCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Dolphins is number 5 Jack BostockWinger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
Five-Eighth for Dolphins is number 6 Kodi NikorimaFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Te Maire Martin
Halfback for Dolphins is number 7 Sean O'SullivanHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Ronald Volkman
Prop for Dolphins is number 8 Jesse BromwichProp for Warriors is number 8 Bunty Afoa
Hooker for Dolphins is number 9 Harrison GrahamHooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy Lussick
Prop for Dolphins is number 10 Mark NichollsProp for Warriors is number 10 Mitchell Barnett
2nd Row for Dolphins is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
2nd Row for Dolphins is number 12 Connelly Lemuelu2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore
Lock for Dolphins is number 13 Kenneath BromwichLock for Warriors is number 13 Dylan Walker
Interchange for Dolphins is number 14 Jarrod WallaceInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Dolphins is number 15 Isaiya KatoaInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom Ale
Interchange for Dolphins is number 16 Max PlathInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Kalani Going
Interchange for Dolphins is number 17 Herman Ese'eseInterchange for Warriors is number 23 Paul Roache
Replacement for Dolphins is number 19 Mason TeagueReplacement for Warriors is number 20 Jacob Laban
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Nick Morel
- Senior Review Official: Adam Gee
- Jamayne Isaako heads into the final round of the regular season leading the competition in both points scored (230) and tries scored (23).
- The Warriors have won eight of 11 on the road this year, the equal second-best away record in the NRL. The Warriors have also won only one of their past seven games at Suncorp Stadium.
- A win will see the Warriors register eight wins in a row for just the second time in club history.
- The Dolphins have defeated three top eight teams in 2023: Raiders, Knights and Sharks.
- The Dolphins have lost 10 of their past 11 games.
- Warriors winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak requires two tries to equal his club’s season try-scoring record.
Match: Dolphins v Warriors
Round 27 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.