As many as a dozen Vodafone Warriors players will experience grand final football next weekend after helping feeder club Redcliffe to both of Queensland’s major premiership deciders today.
Victories in their preliminary finals in the Hostplus Cup and the Hastings Deering Colts competition have set up a huge day for the Dolphins at their home ground Moreton Daily Stadium, which was home to the Vodafone Warriors during their 2022 NRL campaign.
The third-ranked Redcliffe had earned a clash against Hostplus Cup minor premiers the Burleigh Bears after beating the Sunshine Coast Falcons in week one of the finals.
Named for the Dolphins today were five players from the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL squad in centre Rocco Berry, halfback Daejarn Asi, prop Dunamis Lui, loose forward Pride Petterson-Robati and interchange front rower Jackson Frei.
Playing at home, the Dolphins conceded an early try and were also down to 11 players at one stage in the second half but they rallied to secure an impressive 28-16 win. Frei was among their five try scorers to set up a showdown against last year’s premiers Norths, the Devils reaching the decider with a 20-13 win over the Falcons.
The young Dolphins then doubled the club’s joy with a 50-30 pounding of the Central Queensland Capras in their Hastings Deering Colts preliminary final.
They blasted away with four tries in the opening 19 minutes and went on to add five more.
Vodafone Warriors NRL hooker Taniela Otukolo scored the side’s third try, Jacob Laban, one of the club’s highly-valued development players, scored twice within four minutes early in the second half, and young prop Otikinekina Kepu crossed for the last (Kepu moves into the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL squad next season).
Development players centre Ali Leiataua and prop Demitric Sifakula also started today with Zyon Maiuu on the interchange.
Redcliffe will face the Townsville Blackhawks in the grand final after they overcame minor premiers Wynnum-Manly 42-22 in the other preliminary final.