Vodafone Warriors wider squad member Adam Cook was the match-winning hero for feeder club Redcliffe in a stunning come-for-behind 13-12 win over defending premiers the Norths Devils in Sunday’s second-round Hostplus Cup clash.
Playing at Moreton Daily Stadium, the Vodafone Warriors’ home ground for the 2022 NRL season, the Dolphins were in deep trouble midway through the second half.
After a scoreless first half, the Devils had their way to a 12-0 lead with only 18 minutes to play but Redcliffe scored twice in the space of five minutes to have the contest locked up at 12-12 in the 72nd minute.
Then Cook, who had converted both tries, became the saviour when he slotted a one-pointer on the run in the 79th minute, giving the Dolphins a much-needed rebound win after they’d opened the season with a disappointing 4-24 defeat by the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
Signed by the Vodafone Warriors on a train and trial contract for the 2021-2022 offseason, Cook made his one and only NRL appearance so far at fullback for the Canberra Raiders in their 20th round 38-28 win over Cronulla-Sutherland in 2020.
He had four NRL-experienced Vodafone Warriors alongside him in the Redcliffe line-up on Sunday – Edward Kosi on the wing, Ben Murdoch Masila in the front row, Jack Murchie in the second row and hooker Taniela Otukolo on the bench. Two other squad members yet to make their NRL debuts – winger Junior Ratuva and forward Pride Petterson-Robati – were also in line-up as well as fullback Trai Fuller, another player who spent time with the Vodafone Warriors during the offseason.
Kosi made 183 metres from 18 runs and Ratuva 102 metres from 14 runs while Murdoch-Masila, used for a total of 44 minutes in two stints, carried the ball 80 metres from eight runs, had a line break assist and try assist and made 20 tackles without a miss.
Murchie saw little ball in his 80 minutes but was busy on defence making 26 tackles without a miss. Petterson-Robati made an impressive 154 metres from 15 runs in 52-minute effort and added 25 tackles while Otukolo, in a 34-minutes stint, made 43 metres from four runs and added 15 tackles.