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As the ‘only show in town’ on Sunday, the Dolphins are hoping to recreate the magic and momentum they conjured at the start of 2023 when they launch their season against the Cowboys.

Speaking in the lead-up to their Queensland derby at Suncorp Stadium, forward Jarrod Wallace was talking up the “Brisvegas” clash, with the NRL season having already kicked off with great success in Las Vegas, Nevada, last weekend.

“We’re about to open up in Brisvegas baby, that’s what we’re about,” Wallace said.

“Two big Queensland sides playing in Brisvegas … that’s always a huge clash at Suncorp, a Queensland derby.

“I’m just super excited to get ready to play this first game, I’m sick of running, it’s super hot, I’m just excited to start playing some footy.”

Wallace backs squad to do Gilbert proud

After a strong showing in their inaugural season, expectations are high for the Dolphins this year, given they have also snared high-profile recruits Herbie Farnworth and Thomas Flegler from the Broncos.

Despite suffering a heavy blow with Tom Gilbert's season-ending ACL injury, hopes are still high for a maiden finals appearance. 

Mark Nicholls and Tom Dearden at the 2024 NRL season launch.
Mark Nicholls and Tom Dearden at the 2024 NRL season launch. ©NRL Images

Experienced prop Mark Nicholls, who will come off the bench in his 150th NRL game on Sunday, said he was blown away by the support the side received in their debut season and was looking forward to similar euphoiria at Suncorp this week.

“The support we got last year almost blew me away, it showed Brisbane could almost have a second team almost decades earlier,” Nicholls told at the season launch in Sydney.

“We get to play (at Suncorp) in Round 1, the Broncos will be resting after playing in Vegas, so for Brisbane footy fans, it’s Round 1 of the NRL and you get to watch two Queensland teams go at it and hopefully put on a good performance.

“(Last year) unfortunately, we couldn’t maintain that intensity from the start of the year, but I think for us, we learnt from that first half of the year our style of footy … and we have got the players in the room that can compete, but we also know how tough NRL is week-to-week.

“We fell off the back end of the year and it got a bit tough for us.

“(This year), we made a few good signings and for us as a team and a club, if we want to play finals, we have got to take our learnings from that.”

In what is not only coach Wayne Bennett's final season at the helm, but is also set to be skipper Jesse Bromwich last leading the team, the Kiwi great said fans could expect his side to show a similar fighting spirit.

“It's the same type of effort, for sure; we trained even harder than what we did last year,” Bromwich said.

“Our younger boys are a year older into their NRL careers, and we've got some exciting young backs out there, too.

“I think you (can expect) that same effort, that same 'never give up' attitude.

“I'm really looking forward to seeing how the fans turn up (this year). To think about last year and the support that we got from all the fans, it was crazy.

“They all had those fins going and all sorts of crazy stuff.

“I'm looking forward to getting out there.”

Acknowledgement of Country

The Dolphins respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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