By Jon Sloan
Playing in front of their home fans for the first time in seven weeks was a driving motivation for the Redcliffe Dolphins as they put the Brisbane Tigers to the sword 52-12 at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Looking to secure a top four spot, the Dolphins started well with Trai Fuller crossing for the opening try after just minutes of play after a blockbusting run by David Fusitua.
It didn’t take the Tigers long to hit back when Kyle Coghill crossed in the seventh minute following a Fuller fumble of the football on his line.
It took the Dolphins a little while, as expected, to find their groove, but once they did it was all one-way traffic for the home side with tries to Jayden Nikorima, Josh Beehag and Jackson Frei to give them a commanding 26-6 lead at half-time.
At half-time, Dolphins coach Adam Mogg told his side to forget about the score and to start again; he also wanted his side to keep working hard on their discipline.
At times the Dolphins gifted the Tigers good field position after giving away multiple six-again re-starts in the first half.
The second half started off with a try to each side in the first 15 minutes before the Dolphins went into overdrive crossing for four unanswered tries.
Leading the way for the home side was Nikorima, who was in everything, crossing for three tries and kicking six goals for a personal tally of 24 points.
Fresh off signing with the Melbourne Storm for next season, Nikorima has grown in confidence each outing for the Dolphins and is keen to depart the Dolphins with a premiership.
He also showed his versatility by moving to fullback to cover for an injured Fuller, who was forced from the field with an ankle injury in the 53rd minute.
For the Tigers, their scrappy handling would have been a concern for coach Jon Buchanan; when they got into good field position, they just couldn’t convert the possession and field position into points.
After the match Mogg said he was really happy with the win particularly the defensive effort from his side, but urged his players not to get too far ahead of themselves.
Warriors-contracted player Tom Ale was named player of the match for the Dolphins after an outstanding return to football after a lengthy lay-off due to injury.
Ale was well supported by Nikorima, Fusitua, Viliame Vailea and Lachlan Timm; in fact you could just about name the whole Dolphins side as they didn’t have a bad player on the field.
The Tigers will be better for the run but need to cut out their handling errors and defensive lapses at crucial times of the matches.
Next week the Dolphins play the Northern Pride in the curtain raiser to the Bulldogs versus Tigers clash at Moreton Daily Stadium on Sunday.
The Tigers will take on the Souths Logan Magpies at Totally Workwear Stadium.