Full Time
4:05pm Sun March 5, 2023
Round 1 - Suncorp Stadium, Milton / Yuggera-Turrbal - Crowd: 32177

Match Overview

The Dolphins have made a statement in their premiership debut after stunning the Sydney Roosters 28-18 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Defying pre-season expectations to go toe-to-toe with their more heavily favoured opponents during the first half, Wayne Bennett's men romped to victory after halftime to the delight of 32,117 supporters in attendance.

Withstanding an early scare which saw Tesi Niu denied a try due to a forward pass, the Roosters opened the scoring through Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii (11th minute), who managed to narrowly ground the ball despite interference from Brenko Lee.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (16th minute) wrote his way into the record books to score the first try for the league's 17th club; the former North Queensland speedster supported an incisive run from Jeremy Marshall-King to touch down underneath the black dot.

The Roosters took advantage of an error from the ensuing kick-off with makeshift centre Drew Hutchison (19th minute) finishing off a skilful piece of footwork and passing from James Tedesco.

Refusing to wilt in the face of their opposition, the Dolphins, inspired by several damaging hits from inaugural signing Felise Kaufusi, struck a blow late in the half with Mark Nicholls (36th minute) crashing over from close range to send both teams to the sheds locked at 12-all.

Dominating possession with multiple line drop outs early in the second half, Connelly Lemuelu (46th minute) demonstrated his transition from the backline into the forwards with a powerful run to give the Dolphins the lead for the first time.

Striking a major blow after debutant playmaker Isaiya Katoa opted to run the ball close to the try line, a right side shift allowed Jamayne Isaako (50th minute) to establish a double-digit lead.

The Roosters endured further misery with the bunker ruling Daniel Tupou lost the ball over the try line; a subsequent error from Matt Lodge saw Katoa and Tabuai-Fidow combine from a scrum to send Isaako (56th minute) over for his second try of the afternoon.

Trailing 28-12 midway through the final quarter, Luke Keary produced an impressive break and kick, which allowed Tupou (67th minute) to atone for his earlier blunder and move within five tries of the club's all-time try-scoring record. 

Capping a dream debut for the league's newest club, inaugural signing Felise Kaufusi was awarded the Arthur Beetson Medal, in recognition of the rugby league immortal's ties to both Sydney and Redcliffe.

Next week, the Dolphins face the Raiders at Kayo Stadium on Saturday evening, while the Roosters host the Warriors at Allianz Stadium earlier that afternoon.

3. Jeremy Marshall-King

Producing several incisive runs in the first half to put the underdogs on the front foot, the underrated dummy half proved his class as a star recruit.

2. Felise Kaufusi

Receiving the Arthur Beetson Medal as player of the match, the former Melbourne forward made his mark felt with several bone rattling hits.

1. Jamayne Isaako

Coming away with a personal haul of 16 points, Isaako recaptured his best form on the wing.