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The Dolphins overcame a heavy injury toll and spirited Wests Tigers outfit to maintain their place on the ladder with a 26-16 win.

It was a powerful showing from the Dolphins in the first half who enjoyed a 14-0 lead at the break with some impressive tries scored.

However, what would have pleased coach Wayne Bennett the most would have been the period mid-way in the half where the Phins held out multiple sets at their line against an attacking Tigers side looking for three wins in a row. 

At halftime, both sides had 50 percent share of possession, but the Dolphins had made much better use of their chances and had an 82 percent completion rate, as opposed to 65 percent from the Tigers.

With new coach Benji Marshall coming up against his mentor Wayne Bennett, there was a huge divide in experience, but the Tigers had a plan to kick early to try to turn the Dolphins around and Aidan Sezer's two 40/20 kicks had them under pressure. 

Aidan Sezer boots another 40/20

In the second half, the play worked, with Alex Seyfarth able to get the ball down to score to keep them in the game with eight minutes left in the match, but it was too late, with the Dolphins doing the hard work early to earn the win.

After going into the break trailing 14-0, the Tigers started the second half well overall, with hometown boy Solomona Faataape - who last season was playing for the Brisbane Tigers - going over for his first try in the NRL after collecting a nice offload from Charlie Staines. 

Solomona Faataape Try

The Tigers were piling on the pressure and Faataape went back-to-back after chasing and collecting a Sezer grubber to ground the ball, despite the attention of fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow. 

The Dolphins were on the rocks, but back-to-back errors from the Tigers let them wriggle off the hook when Kodi Nikorima - who celebrated his 30th birthday earlier in the week - put some distance between the two sides with a try.

Kenneath Bromwich Try

The Dolphins then scored another try to a somewhat unexpected player. Making his first appearance since Round 1 after Bennett made a late change to switch Kenny Bromwich into the starting side, he delivered, following up on a probing dummyhalf run by Jeremy Marshall-King to sprint under the posts the the home side's final try of the night. 

While it was a good win for the Dolphins at home, it could have come at a high cost, with Felise Kaufusi, Tom Flegler and Herbie Farnworth all unable to finish the game.

The Tigers also suffered their own injury concerns, with forwards John Bateman and Samuela Fainu suffering head knocks and unable to return, while debutant Latu Fainu suffered a hamstring strain. 

Match Snapshot

  • Dolphins prop Thomas Flegler ran out for his 100th NRL appearance, but was unable to finish the game, coming from the field with a suspected AC joint injury.
  • Tigers forwards John Bateman (failed HIA) and Samuela Fainu were both ruled out with head knocks. 
  • Kurt Donoghoe was placed on report following his tackle on Fainu.
  • Highly rated Tigers youngster Latu Fainu came off the bench for his debut, but left the game early with a hamstring strain.
  • Dolphins forward Felise Kaufusi also came off after helping set up a first half try with a hamstring issue.
  • Herbie Farnworth left in the closing stages of the game, clutching at his upper body in another suspected AC joint injury. 
  • Tigers skipper Api Koroisau was hampered by a quad injury before kick-off, but played out the game. 
  • The Dolphins have now won two of their past five games at Suncorp Stadium.
  • Wests Tigers were aiming for three consecutive wins for the first time since 2018.
  • The Tigers have still only won two of their past 12 games in Queensland.
  • Dolphins hooker Jeremy Marshall-King and Tigers coach Benji Marshall became the second set of brothers to face off as a coach and a player after Tony and Brian Smith. 

Play of the Game 

While the Hammer may score prettier and more impressive tries in his career, the lead-up to his fifth of this season had the crowd on their feet. After a smart dummyhalf pass from Jeremy Marshall-King, Felise Kaufusi burst through the inside of the ruck to run down field, desperately looking for support as he fell to the ground, finding the Hammer running up the inside to catch his pass and go over to score. 

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow Try

What They Said

Dolphins: Round 5

"I agree (it was a brave performance from the Dolphins, finishing the game with 12 players). We know what the injuries are, but not the severity of them just yet. I thought the Tigers were really brave, they were like us, they took some injuries too. The humidity out there was pretty high and both teams were affected by it, it was a tough night." - Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett

Wests Tigers: Round 5

"I spoke to the team about how resilient we were as a bunch. We didn't deserve to win, but at the same time, given the adversity we had to face, throughout the game, to be fighting there at the end and give ourselves the opportunity to win that game, was a big effort from them. So as a coach, I am really proud of the effort. Of course we wanted to win, no doubt and of course we could have played better, but there's something you can't coach and and that's what's in there (heart)." - Tigers coach Benji Marshall

What's Next

Next week, the Dolphins are back at Suncorp Stadium for a blockbuster showdown against the Broncos as the sides play in their Battle for Brisbane on Friday night. They will be hoping to have at least Flegler on deck for the game against former club, with Farnworth looking unlikely.

The Tigers head home to Campbelltown Sports Stadium to host the Dragons, but are also set to be down on troops and without Bateman and the Fainu brothers after tonight's tough loss.


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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