You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Rookie fullback Trai Fuller has inspired a second-half blitz to lead the Dolphins to a stunning victory over Parramatta. 

The Dolphins ran in 40 points after half-time to blow the Eels off the park in stifling conditions in Darwin. 

Livewire Fuller ran for 177 metres and produced multiple highlight reel plays in just his second game in the NRL while Jeremy Marshall-King was at his sniping best from the base of the ruck in the 44-16 win. 

The Eels led 10-4 after 45 minutes, however, the Dolphins then crossed for eight-straight tries in just 25 minutes to blow their opponents off the park. 

The match was a window into the future for Dolphins fans with 2025 coach Kristian Woolf carrying the clipboard after Wayne Bennett was unable to travel to Darwin due to illness.

Dolphins winger Jack Bostock scores in the corner in Friday's victory over the Eels
Dolphins winger Jack Bostock scores in the corner in Friday's victory over the Eels ©NRL Photos

Bennett wasn't the only Dolphin absent, with the side struck down by a host of injuries in recent weeks. Seven players were unavailable for selection, including Thomas Flegler and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

The match was played in hot, humid conditions at TIO Stadium in Darwin, with the temperature sitting at 32 degrees at kick off.

Jack Bostock 2nd Try

Shaun Lane opened the scoring for the Eels in the 16th minute after a dominant start to the game. The forward ran a tough line to crash over from short range and ensure his side turned pressure into points. 

Parramatta winger Sean Russell was denied by a toe on the touchline moments later, however there was no stopping centre Will Penisi who stepped and spun his way through the Dolphins defensive line in the 26th minute.  

Will Penisini Try

An Eels error the set after points handed the visitors a chance to hit back and they made no mistake. Halfback Isaiya Katoa attacked down the short side before throwing a looping ball over the top to winger Jack Bostock who finished in the corner to make it 8-4 after 33 minutes. 

A Clint Gutherson penalty goal put his team up six shortly after the break before Dolphins centre Tesi Niu charged on to a Katoa no-look pass to level the scores. 

Woolf's side was in front moments later, Marshall-King darting from dummy half to lay the platform for a stunning Fuller long-range try. 

The hooker was at it again soon after, slicing through the Eels defence before linking up with Max Plath to make it three tries in six minutes. 

The onslaught continued with Plath again on the end of a stunning piece of attack, the Dolphins throwing the ball around and running their opponents ragged in the sticky conditions.

Max Plath Try

Jake Averillo won the race to the ball in the 60th minute to make it 30-10, before Bostock added two more and Niu crossed for his secondDylan Brown scored a late try for the Eels, however the result was already beyond doubt. 

Match Snapshot

  • The Dolphins completed 82% in challenging conditions in Darwin, while Eels completed just eight sets in the second half.
  • 44 points was the Dolphins highest score in the NRL. 
  • The Dolphins weren't afraid to throw the ball around in the win and made 14 offloads and nine line breaks in the win.  
  • Bostock's hat-trick takes his tally to nine tries from his past nine games. The winger also added four linebreaks and ran for 176 metres. 
  • Jesse Bromwich became the first prop to start 300 NRL games in the victory
  • Eels five-eighth Daejarn Asi left the game with a head knock in the second half and did not return.

Play of the Game

Marshall-King laid the foundation for one of the tries of the year, darting from dummy half to poke his head through the Eels defensive line. The hooker linked up with a barnstorming Josh Kerr who then found fullback Trai Fuller. The speedster raced away to the applause of the Darwin crowd and scored under the posts. 

Trai Fuller Try

What They Said

"I'm very proud of the effort. There's plenty of reasons for us to have excuses for ourselves and not come up with a performance and we didn't do that. We haven't had Wayne all week, the players have been great, they prepared really well, they carried that through since we got here and deserve a lot of credit for what they've done." - Dolphins interim coach Kristian Woolf

Dolphins: Round 7

"What's wrong with our season is we're a part-time footy team at the moment. We pick and choose when we want to play. We pick and choose in the 80 minutes when we want to make a tough choice or a soft choice because that second half wasn't good enough. It all got too fast for us, got too hard and was gave up, simple as that. There's only a handful of players in this club at the moment that pick to choose to come every week to play with the right mentality and toughness, want to be an 80-minute footballer and want to be an NRL player every week." - Eels coach Brad Arthur

Eels: Round 7

What's Next

Parramatta will travel to 4 Pines Park next Friday night to face old rivals Manly, while the Dolphins return home to play Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

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.

Principal Partner

Premier Partners

View All Partners