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ADAM Starr may have lost the captaincy role late in the piece, but that didn?t stop him leading by example as Redcliffe accounted for Ipswich 34-12 at QLD Group Stadium on Saturday.
Originally named skipper for the Dolphins first game of the year, Starr had to settle for deputy when half Shane Perry returned unexpectedly from the Brisbane Broncos this week.
Rather than take the demotion as a slap in the face, Starr kept on keeping on as his side escaped from Jets territory in an encounter closer than the scoreline indicated.
Indeed, an intercept try to Ipswich winger Ben McFadgean with 20 minutes left had the home side poised to strike at just 16-12 down.
?It?s never easy out at Ipswich at any time, let alone when your side is coming off a bye,? said Dolphins coach Anthony Griffin.
?We had to hang in there. I thought we had a really good game in defence.
?Certainly there wasn?t much good ball for us down inside their half, so most of the tries we had to create from inside our own half.?
While Starr stood out, all members of the Redcliffe pack could hold their heads high. In the backs, it was fullback and Ryan Cullen and Wests Tigers signing Adam Fletcher that did the damage.
Cullen had three tries for the afternoon, the highlight coming when Fletcher got outside his opposite man and chip-kicked back inside for the looming custodian to collect the ball at pace.
As for captain Perry, it appeared the roller-coaster start to the season had taken at least some sort of toll on his form
?I?d say he had some good touches, but it wasn?t his best game,? opined Griffin.
?Shane?s having a bit of a downer after the last few weeks. Without being disrespectful, a State League match at Ipswich is a little different to playing before a crowd of 50,000 at Suncorp Stadium.
?It was a bit funny seeing him at training on Wednesday night. Other than him popping down after work sometimes, we haven?t seen him much since Christmas due to his commitments with the Broncos.?
Griffin revealed his side had prepared specifically in defence for Ipswich halves Ricky Bird and Brendon Marshall, a combination that has aroused significant interest this season.
REDCLIFFE 34 (Ryan Cullen 3, Adam Fletcher, Grant Flugge, Danny Green tries; Greg Bourke 5 tries) beat IPSWICH 12 (Ricky Bird, Ben McFadgean tries; Aaron Werth 2 goals).