Dolphins ‘ready to go’ for Hostplus Cup season opener

Dolphins ‘ready to go’ for Hostplus Cup season opener

Photos: Josh Springfield, courtesy of the Redcliffe Dolphins

A disrupted preseason due to COVID-19 and the floods will be no barrier to a strong start to the Hostplus Cup season for the Redcliffe Dolphins this weekend, according to Head Coach Scott Murray.

Murray told supporters and sponsors at the club’s season launch on Friday night, at sponsor Village Motors’ showroom, that all clubs had faced the same disruption and his side was ‘ready to go’.

“All clubs went through it – whether it was NRL or the Hostplus Cup – they all had COVID and we were probably more hit when we came back after Christmas,” he explained.

“When we came back, I think we might have had 12 players who actually could train. It was quite a disruptive start but that was for everyone. Everyone’s fine now and ready to go.”

When emcee Ian Skippen asked who fans should be excited to see take the field for the Dolphins this season Murray was hesitant to single out one player.

“We’re happy with the recruitment that we’ve made with some of the players who have had some time with the Warriors. We’re excited for them to come back,” he said.

“A little bit of experience we’ve added to the squad with Dunamis Lui who has been fantastic for us and been a real mentor for some of our younger players. We’re looking forward to having him this year.

“Also, the retention that we’ve been able to have this year … looking at some of the tries that have been scored and some of the highlights … we’ve got most of those guys back. Someone like Trai Fuller who had a fantastic year and was fullback of the year, is probably in better physical condition than he was last year. There’s no reason why he won’t have a good year.”

The side’s captain again this season, Cameron Cullen, said while it had been an “odd build-up” to the season, the squad knew they would need to be resilient again this year.

“We’re really as a group getting ourselves ready for anything and that’s what we’re going to have to go through this year. All the boys are really keen to play some footy,” he said.

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Strong history and bright future

Guests at the season launch were told the club’s NRL team would be playing their first round one game against the Roosters in just 12 months’ time.

The evening, also held in the club’s 75th year, was a chance to reflect on a proud history.

Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth said with so much history, he had no doubt they were all proud to pull on the Redcliffe Dolphins jersey.

“We look forward to you doing your best, your absolute best, to bring home the premiership this year and I think you’re obviously in with a real chance. So, play hard and do well,” Mr Howarth said.

Dolphins Chairman Bob Jones thanked Mr Howarth, State Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath, former Moreton Bay Regional Councillor Koliana Winchester and Moreton Bay Regional Council for their support.

He also thanked long-time sponsor Village Motors’ Marlene Newcombe, who is now a member of the NRL club’s board. He said, in his view, there was only one candidate and the club would benefit from her expertise.

Mr Jones also thanked the other club’s other sponsors and supporters.

“I can’t wait for next week. It should be a great night. Scotty’s got his chance to put his stamp on the Q Cup boys and this year will be our last as standalone club in the Q Cup. Next year, we’ll obviously have our NRL team feeding into our Dolphins QCUP. It’s a special year. I know the boys have trained really hard and can’t wait for a hit-out,” Mr Jones said.

“Let’s make sure 2022 is something really special.”

The Redcliffe Dolphins face the Sunshine Coast Falcons in round one at Moreton Daily Stadium on March 19 at 6pm. 

The Dolphins will be looking to redeem themselves after going down 26-16 to the Falcons in their trial game last weekend at Bribie Island.

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