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Dolphins put the Hammer down to finish Magic Round in style

A double from superstar fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in his return from a hamstring injury led the Dolphins to a 24-12 win over Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday night.

Tabuai-Fidow was at his sizzling best as the Dolphins racked up their seventh win of the season to consolidate their position in the top four.

The Dolphins had the first opportunity to post points in the 10th minute from a set scrum but Kodi Nikorima's pass went astray and rolled into touch on play one.

Just three minutes later the Dolphins had the opening try when Jack Bostock finished off a slick left side raid that featured Herbie Farnworth and Tabuai-Fidow. The conversion by Jamayne Isaako made it 6-0.

A penalty against Felise Kaufusi for a strip in the 23rd minute gave the Tigers a full set from close range but they were unable to cash in with Lachie Galvin putting a grubber over the dead ball line.

Jack Bostock Try

On the back of a mistake by Charlie Staines the Dolphins grabbed a second try in the 28th minute when Jeremy Marshall-King put Mark Nicholls from close range with a clever pass out of dummy half.

Wests Tigers hit back in the shadows of half-time when Solomon Alaimalo held three defenders at bay and delivered an offload for Justin Olam to cross for the 50th try of his career which Api Koroisau converted to make it 12-6.

The Tigers went a man down in the 40th minute when Brent Naden was sin binned for dangerous contact after taking Bostock high and they lost a second player in the 47th minute when Olam was sin binned for dangerous contact.

Justin Olam Try

With 11 men on the field the Tigers looked to have gone further behind when Euan Aitken crossed but the bunker ruled Nicholls had obstructed a defender in the lead-up and the try was disallowed.

Just 30 seconds before Naden returned to the field the Tigers conceded their third try when a dropped ball by Jahream Bula was picked up by Marshall-King who found Tabuai-Fidow for a runaway try.

Come the 54th minute and the Tigers hit back when a Jayden Sullivan offload put Koroisau over in his 200th NRL game and the joint venture was back in the hunt at 18-12.

With 10 minutes to play the Dolphins grabbed some breathing space when Lemuelu busted the Tigers line and found Tabuai-Fidow looming in support to make it 24-12 to Wayne Bennett's men.

The Dolphins head across the Tasman full of confidence as they face the resurgent Warriors in Round 12 while the Tigers have slumped to 2-8 on the season.

Match Snapshot 

  • Dolphins winger Jack Bostock has nine tries in 10 games in 2024, making him the NRL's equal top tryscorer with Sunia Turuva, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Deine Mariner and Reece Walsh.
  • Wests Tigers used two Captain's Challenges during the first half and both were successful.
  • Wests Tigers centre Brent Naden was put on report and sin binned in the 40th minute for a high shot on Jack Bostock.
  • Wests Tigers centre Justin Olam was placed on report and sent to the bin in the 47th minute for a hip drop tackle on Jamayne Isaako.
  • Dolphins fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow now has seven career doubles.
  • Dolphins prop Mark Nicholls ran for 138 metres and crossed for his third try of the season.

Brent Naden sent to the bin

  • Wests Tigers captain Api Koroisau played his 200th NRL game and celebrated with a try.
  • Dolphins fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow returned for his first game since Round 6 following a hamstring injury. He ran for 257 metres and scored two tries to mark his return.
  • Wests Tigers prop Stefano Utoikamanu staked his claim for NSW Blues selection with 158 run metres from 19 hit-ups.
  • A total of 149,196 fans came through the gates at Suncorp across the three days of Magic Round.
  • Wests Tigers have won only two of their past eight games at Suncorp Stadium.
  • Dolphins hooker Jeremy Marshall-King came up with 48 tackles.

Apisai Koroisau Try

Plays of the Game 

The Dolphins faithful got what they came for in the 49th minute when Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow found himself in open space and glided across the turf for 80 metres to touch down. A big hit by Connelly Lemuelu forced the ball loose from Jahream Bula, with Jeremy Marshall-King picking up the scraps and sending it to the Hammer who raced away to score the Dolphins' third four-pointer. Just for good measure the Hammer then iced the win with another try in the 70th minute.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 1st Try

What They Said

"You know you are going to have some of those days [where you win ugly]. We wouldn't have won that game last year, we'd have lost this game, because we didn't defend as well as we do now. It was the good, the bad and the ugly tonight. The good was getting the two points, the bad was the way we played with the football. The ugly was just being out there and looking like we weren't interested. The difficult part for us [about Magic Round] was waiting until the Sunday night to play. We live in the city here and we didn't get to play until the last game and that in itself was a challenge. Seeing everything unfold in front of you and you have three days of it before you get to your own game, I have no doubt that played in some guys' heads." - Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett

Dolphins: Round 11

"We just keep finding ways to beat ourselves. Our team gives so much effort in so many departments and we get two in the sin bin, we fight our way back to 18-12, and then we find a way to beat ourselves again. It's frustrating. The message has been the same for the last six weeks that we keep beating ourselves. If we can't change it then the people have to change. Our discipline is terrible and we need to find players who are more disciplined. To their credit they hang in there and fight but we're just lucky the Dolphins completed at about 60 per cent and kept us in the game." - Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall

Wests Tigers: Round 11

What's Next 

Wests Tigers have another assignment in Queensland in Round 12, heading to Townsville to face North Queensland on Friday.

The Dolphins head across the Tasman to face the Warriors in the final game of Round 12 on Sunday.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers 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.

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