Milford stars in Isaako's 100th as Dolphins get back on track

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Dolphins v St George Illawarra Dragons

A vintage performance from Anthony Milford has sparked the Dolphins in a 26-12 victory over the Dragons at Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe.

Both sides had a point to prove as they were missing their Origin contingent of players, but also presented opportunity for fringe players to press their claims for future selection. 

The Dragons continued their purple patch under interim coach Ryan Carr as they split the Dolphins open to start the contest. A controversial penalty for a late tackle on half Jayden Sullivan gave the visitors a 2-0 lead thanks to a Zac Lomax penalty goal.

They butchered a certain four-pointer a play before but Talatau Amone split them with some amazing stepping and the Tongan international crossed for the first try of the Dragons. However, the try was revoked when the Bunker found his forearm touches the ground. Two tackles later, the Dragons collected their first try. Amone turned provider with a clever kick for Jack Bird and the second rower crossed out wide. There was a suggestion he was taken high in the act of scoring, but the tackle from Kodi Nikorima was given the green-light. Lomax missed the kick and it was an imposing lead early. 

The Dolphins began to win some possession back and after earlier unable to get past the Dragons steel defensive line. They finally cracked midway through the first half. A great kick from Anthony Milford allowed Jamayne Isaako to leap above Mathew Feagai and he crossed for the Dolphins first try in his 100th game. Following a great set after points, Mark Nicholls crossed off a great short ball from Marshall-King as he gets in between the Dragons defenders.

Things got worse for the visitors, Jack De Belin was sin-binned for an alleged cannon-ball tackle and the home side took full advantage almost immediately. Anthony Milford got the ball out of the first receiver position and toyed with some questionable defence on the left edge from the Dragons to cross in the right corner. Fortunately, that was the only try they conceded in the 10-minute period. The visitors crossed right on the break when Jacob Liddle drew in some lazy defenders to find Toby Couchman to cross for his second NRL try, which made it 18-12 at the break.

The start of the second half saw both sides exchange sets before Kodi Nikorima split some woeful Dragons kick return defence. From the ensuing plays that followed. Isaiya Katoa and Milford found Brenko Lee who drew and passed to Jamayne Isaako and the milestone man collected number two. He also converted for a 24-12 score.
The ensuing period post Isaako's second try saw some questionable attacking options from the Dragons with their young halves struggling to adapt to the situations they were presented with throughout the second half. 

The Dolphins on the other hand were managing the game quite nicely and delivering tough tackles in defence, Milford's strong tackle on his opposite number Amone was a particular highlight. Isaako added a penalty goal in garbage time to secure a big win in the rep period for the Dolphins.

Dolphins 26 - St George Illawarra Dragons 12

Venue: Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe / Kabi Kabi
Crowd: 10047
Halftime Score: Dolphins 18 St George Illawarra Dragons 12 Players of the Match:
3 points - Anthony Milford
2 points - Jamayne Isaako
1 points - Jacob Liddle

Tries: Jamayne Isaako (2), Mark Nicholls, Anthony Milford
Field Goals: Anthony Milford (0/1)
Conversions: Jamayne Isaako (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Jamayne Isaako (1/1)

Tries: Jack Bird, Toby Couchman
Conversions: Zac Lomax (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Zac Lomax (1/1)

See how it happened in our Match Centre