CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The NRL’s newest expansion side, The Dolphins have silenced all of their smart arse critics overnight, by pumping the premiership favourites the Roosters in their first ever match.
However, this wasn’t the only record broken last night, as coach Wayne Bennett struggled to contain his excitement.
The Dolphins steamrolled the Bondi Boy 28-18 in front of 32,177 fans at Suncorp Stadium, with the kind of both unstructured magic and fluid playmaking usually reserved for an established Queensland Origin side.
However, this wasn’t an Origin side. This was a brand new team made up of very few big names and a couple of hardheaded veteran Queenslanders, who outmuscled and outran the darlings of the NRL in 80 minutes of hardcore football.
Heading into the 2023 season most pundits had laughed at the Dolphins for having no big names, and tipping them as near certain wooden spooners. The same people had spent the off-season relentlessly speculating that the Roosters would be a certain grand final start.
This glorious inauguration has cemented the legacy of Wayne Bennett, the man responsible for doing the same thing for the Brisbane Broncos and the Queensland Maroons, The Australian Kangaroos, the NZ Kiwis, the St George Dragons and almost Newcastle and South Sydney.
This team’s rise from a suburban Queensland Cup side to the NRL has been documented in a new documentary, titled Dawn Of The Dolphin, which Wayne Bennett wouldn’t have said yes to unless he thought it would help his boys win some matches.
And after last night, it appears everything is clicking for the Phins – who took to the field like they’d all been playing together since juniors.
This mighty debut has since broken Bennett’s previously held record of 3 post-match winks after unifying wins with the 2006 State Of Origin series, Brisbane Broncos Premierships and Kangaroos tours.
Witnesses says that Wayne Bennett may have in fact winked four times last night, with a wry smile.
This news has sent shockwaves through the NRL, as his coaching contemporaries have no option but to interpret his out-of-character cheerfulness as indicator that there are many more surprises in store from the Inphincibles.