Hammer inspires Dolphins win as Tigers lose two to bin

Joel Gould |

Two tries to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow helped the Dolphins to a 24-12 win over the ill-disciplined Tigers.
Two tries to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow helped the Dolphins to a 24-12 win over the ill-disciplined Tigers.

The Dolphins – inspired by electric fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow – have made Wests Tigers pay for brain snaps by Brent Naden and Justin Olam in an unconvincing 24-12 win.

Tabuai-Fidow scored a double on his return from a month out with a hamstring injury, in good news for Queensland ahead of the State of Origin series.

The Tigers have now slumped to their seventh loss in a row while the Dolphins consolidated their position in the top four.

Wayne Bennett described his side’s win as “the good, the bad and the ugly”.

Bennett said the good was “the two points”, the bad the “way we played with the football”, and the ugly “just being out there and looking like we weren’t interested”.

“We wouldn’t have won that game last year because we couldn’t defend as well as we can now,” he said.

As for Tabuai-Fidow, Bennett was effusive in his praise.

“He is fit. He is great. He has great anticipation and backs it up with his speed. He is exciting to watch,” the coach said.

Mark Nicholls.
Mark Nicholls got amongst the scorers in the week he re-signed with the Dolphins. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

Naden lost the plot on the cusp of halftime and was sin-binned for a needless forearm to the head of Dolphins winger Jack Bostock.  

With Naden still banished, Olam followed him after a dangerous hip-drop style tackle on Dolphins winger Jamayne Isaako.

“Our discipline is terrible,” Tigers coach Benji Marshall said.

“I am pretty frustrated. Our team gives so much effort in so many departments and so many areas. We have two in the sin-bin, fight our way back to 18-12 and then find a way to beat ourselves again.”

Tabuai-Fidow raced 80m while the Tigers were down to 11 men to give the Dolphins an 18-6 lead.

Tigers skipper Api Koroisau, in his 200th first grade game, scored while Olam was still off to keep his side in the final match of Magic Round.

Tabuai-Fidow, a try-scoring machine at Suncorp Stadium, put the game away with another dazzling display of speed as the Tigers tired after having to do extra work in defence while two men down.

Justin Olam is sent to the sin bin.
Justin Olam’s sin-binning helped the Dolphins take control. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

“You feel for Trai Fuller, who did a great job for us the weeks Hammer was out, but the Hammer is our fullback and he did a great job,” Dolphins captain Jesse Bromwich said.

“Obviously, there is Origin around the corner for him as well so he is looking pretty.”

The Dolphins let themselves down with poor discipline, giving away rash penalties and making multiple errors.

Wests Tigers were also wasteful, with their last-play options dire. 

Dolphins half Isaiya Katoa turned in another elite display with his kicking game but his side’s attack was clunky with several passes going into touch.

The Dolphins opened the scoring with winger Jack Bostock nabbing his 11th try in just 14 NRL games after a sweeping backline movement. 

Prop Mark Nicholls celebrated his re-signing during the week by crashing over from an immaculate pass by hooker Jeremy Marshall-King from dummy-half.

Rampaging Olam crashed over on the cusp of the break  after a superb offload by rookie winger Solomon Alaimano but indiscipline continued to cost the Tigers.

AAP