Dolphins celebrate past and present

Player of the match Pala Mailangi (Supplied)

Jerry Lewis

With weather conditions expected to be much more favourable for rugby this weekend, the Ray White Noosa Dolphins go into the annual Back to Noosa round equal first on the A grade competition ladder having been joined by University following last weekends matches (University with a bonus point win) in what continues to be a crowded field.

Former and current players and supporters are expected to descend on Dolphin Oval as the locals take on a Wynnum side full of size and speed. The weekend recognises the 10, 20 and 30 year anniversaries of the 1994, 2004 and 2024 A and Reserve grade teams; the Dolphins winning both the A Grade and Reserve Grade Premierships in all of the three anniversary years.

“With the current A and Reserve Grade performing well, this weekend will be great opportunity for all our former players and supporters to get together and support them as they strive to achieve what many Dolphins teams have done before them,“ former A Grade Captain Tony Harmer said.

“We have a rich history at the Dolphins, but our days are in the past, the players of today are the ones creating their own part of the club’s history. That is what the Back to Noosa day is about; the old and the new getting together to celebrate our past and present.“

Last weekend saw the Dolphins travel to a wet, cold and windy Kawana to take on a Brothers side fighting to clinch a spot in the top four, the Dolphins taking the honours in a gritty 18-5 win.

In front of a dedicated group of travelling supporters, the Noosa team put on a dominant forwards display, reminiscent of some of the teams that will be recognised this weekend. It was the tenacity shown by the Dolphins that pleased coach Jim McKay the most.

“In conditions like we had, you are always going to have difficulty in retaining possession and I was so happy that the team kept grafting for the full match,“ McKay said.

“Our forwards worked so well together and in combinations with the backs; our scrum and lineout improving every week. I can see the whole group committed to each other and that is a great sign as we continue to fight to secure our spot in the final’s series. That is our immediate goal, and with so many teams on the ladder within striking range, that means each week is so important.“

McKay was also pleased with the defensive effort of his players, stopping several try scoring opportunities with well organised and committed defence.

In a forward’s dominated match, it was not surprising to see prop Pala Mailangi take out the KB’s Player of the Match. Not just his scrummaging impressed, but his work across the paddock, making several damaging raids. Also impressing were Joey Caputo and Andrew Ramsden.

The Ray White Reserve Grade side did not fare so well with a 15-10 defeat but retaining top spot on the ladder. In only their third loss of the season, the Dolphins squandered too many opportunities and did not handle the wet and slippery conditions well against their nearest rivals in the race for the minor premiership.

In another solid performance, captain Reon Fortington against took out the KB’s player of the match points.

Rugby this weekend has the added bonus of seeing the younger talent on display in the top of the table clash when the Dolphins Under 18’s take on the Gold Coast Eagles at 12.30. With both teams undefeated in their competition this year, just one bonus point separates the two sides with the Eagles in front.

Matches this weekend:

12.30pm Under 18’s – Noosa v Gold Coast Eagles

2pm Reserve Grade – Noosa v Wynnum

3.30pm – Noosa v Wynnum

For all up to date information visit the Dolphins Facebook and Instagram pages.