Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Redcliffe coach Anthony Griffin has warned his players to beware the wounded Bears as the Dolphins prepare to do battle with Burleigh in its Queensland Wizard Cup clash at Dolphin Oval this Sunday.
Despite his side holding top spot on the competition ladder following a 48-22 win against Easts at Langlands Park last Saturday, Griffin is anticipating a tough clash against the struggling Gold Coast outfit.
Last year's runners-up, Burleigh has won just once this season, downing Ipswich in the opening round of the season before being upset by Central and rolled by Easts and Norths.
Despite the Dolphins and Bears being at opposite ends of the ladder, Griffin is wary of a side he predicts ``is going to win soon''.
``They're a very strong club and they've been in the last three grand finals, but they're just going through some bad form early in the year,'' Griffin said.
``They're going to click soon, so we've just got to make sure we're ready for them on Sunday.''
Redcliffe's home field status isn't assured to be an advantage for the Dolphins.
Burleigh has won most of its visits to the Peninsula in the past five years, including a 56-6 result last year.
Redcliffe's Duane O'Grady is in doubt after lasting only 10 minutes against Easts due to a back complaint.
The fast-finishing Dolphins squandered an early lead against Easts before blowing out the final score in a see-sawing affair.
Early tries to Greg Bourke and standout Mick Roberts got the ball rolling for Redcliffe, before Tigers veteran Darren Smith orchestrated a comeback, setting up several tries and scoring two of his own.
Easts had nullified Redcliffe's 12-point half-time lead to tie the game at 22-all with half an hour to play but, as with its performances against Ipswich and Central, Redcliffe skipped away in the last quarter of the match by scoring five unanswered tries.
While Griffin praised his side's try-scoring prowess and its ability to dominate the back half of matches, he wasn't impressed with letting Easts into the match.
``We were in the position to win the game at half-time but we let that slip,'' Griffin said.
``To Easts credit they played some good footy on us, but we shouldn't have let them get to that point.
``But I don't want to be too pessimistic we haven't lost a game yet.''
Griffin cited prop Pat Gardner, five-eighth Shane Perry and hooker Roberts, whose scheming play around the rucks provided plenty of headaches for the Easts defence, as the stand out players for the Redcliffe team.
The Dolphins have now snared top spot on the ladder after North Queensland's record 18-game unbeaten streak was shattered after they were hammered 54-16 by Tweed Heads.
This Article is courtesy of the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald