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The Tweed Seagulls couldn’t keep up with a charging Redcliffe Dolphins who ran away with a 30-4 Round 14 win at Moreton Daily Stadium.

The Seagulls didn’t need long to open the scoring as Scott Galeano crossed in the just sixth minute of the match.

In a replica of their first try last week, Tweed looked to the right edge with Sam Lisone throwing the first pass of the shift at first receiver. He dug into the line before sending the ball wide where Galeano found acres of space to race over the line for an early 4-0 lead. 

While the Seagulls worked well through the middle to pin the Dolphins in their own end, the home side did their damage out wide. With the defensive line compressed early in the count, Daejarn Asi chipped one over and into the corner for Setu Tu to level the scores 15 minutes into this one.

The try provided the Dolphins with a boost as they took control of the middle of the field.

Dunamis Lui stood out within a rampaging pack that provided the playmakers with regular opportunities to attack the Seagulls line. Still, the visitors held firm in defence.

Lindon McGrady moved to fullback for this one with young Tom Weaver spotting up at halfback. However, McGrady made sure to insert himself into the Tweed attack whenever he could, directing the side a lot more than you would typically see from a fullback.

Thriving through the middle by getting deep into the line and straightening the attack, McGrady created space for Tweed to find regular success down the edges in yardage. Will Brimson broke through the line, but couldn’t connect with a team mate to turn the break into points. 

While the Dolphins were presented with a handful of opportunities to ask questions in attack, the Seagulls defence had the answers in the first half.

Lee Turner and Brimson on the left edge, in particular, made things difficult with their jamming defence shutting down back-to-back Redcliffe shifts.

Defence defined the first half which ended 4-4.

The Dolphins middle defence limited the number of opportunities the Seagulls had to attack the line, while the Seagulls’ line defence shut down those of the Dolphins. 

That Seagulls defence didn’t stick through to start the second half. Asi’s run at the line ended with Eli Katoa through it, with the big backrower holding McGrady off for long enough to release an offload to the trailing Trai Fuller. While the fullback scored close to the posts, Asi couldn’t convert as the Dolphins moved to 8-4 in front.

That soon became 14-4 following a Valynce Te Whare break from inside his own half. The big centre, who is signed with the Dolphins NRL side for 2023, showed incredible speed for his size as he streaked down the sideline. With the Tweed defence on the back foot, Liam Hampson found space around the ruck to crash over the line in the 50th minute. 

As has so often been the case this season, Craig Garvey provided a spark off the bench. His line break threatened to break the game wide open before Fuller collected Garvey’s grubber to shut the play down and put Redcliffe back on the front foot. With points at a premium at this point, Bryce Donovan pointed at the posts when given the opportunity to put the Dolphins up 16-4 with 20 minutes to play. 

It was all one-way traffic from there, though.

Hampson again triggered the action for the Dolphins to score their fourth try of the night. Spotting a Tweed defender slow to reload at the play-the-ball, the hooker jumped out from behind the ruck, stepped past the first marker and brought the short-side A defender into the tackle before sending the ball wide where Edward Kosi finished the job with a barnstorming run down the right wing. 

Hampson completed what was an impressive performance by sending Kosi over only minutes later, but Te Whare added the icing to the cake on the stroke of full time. Another charging carry down the left side ended with the centre crashing over as the Dolphins finished up as convincing 30-4 victors at Moreton Daily Stadium.

Coach’s comments

Tom Weaver impressed coach Ben Woolf in his debut, despite the limited opportunities in attack.

“I thought he did well. They sent plenty of traffic at him but he stood up well,” Woolf said.

The absence of Ryland Jacobs at the back had an impact on the number of opportunities the Seagulls had to use the football.

“We missed Ryland’s carries in yardage tonight. Lindon still ran the show in attack, but Ryland was definitely a loss,” Woolf said.

Ultimately, though, it came down to the Tweed defence which didn’t perform at the level it has done in recent weeks.

“We gave some cheap possession which put us under pressure at key times. We struggled to control their ruck speed in both halves but the extra possession allowed them to take advantage of it better in the second half.”

Next week, the Seagulls will play Sunshine Coast Falcons.

The Dolphins will host Norths Devils. 

Written by Jason Oliver of Rugby League Writers on behalf of Tweed Seagulls Media

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