Wayne Bennett, coach of the Dolphins, is planning to make a significant change to the lineup for their upcoming game against the Broncos. Star fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is set to be shifted to the centre position. The Dolphins, who have suffered three consecutive defeats, are desperate to turn their fortunes around as they go up against the second-placed Brisbane team in Round 18. Halfback Sean O’Sullivan confirmed the move after Tabuai-Fidow trained at left centre on Wednesday. Kodi Nikorima will take over the fullback position, while rookie Valynce Te Whare will remain at right centre.
The decision to shift Tabuai-Fidow comes in response to the Dolphins‘ struggles defending their left edge in the previous game against the Eels, where they conceded four tries in a 48-20 loss. Despite excelling as a fullback, Tabuai-Fidow has previously demonstrated his capabilities in the centre position during the State of Origin matches this year. Nikorima has also played as a fullback in previous seasons. O’Sullivan expressed confidence in Tabuai-Fidow’s ability to adapt to the new position, stating that regardless of where he plays, he will make a significant contribution to the team.
According to O’Sullivan, the decision to move Tabuai-Fidow to centre may be influenced by Nikorima’s previous success in the fullback role. By rearranging the lineup, the Dolphins aim to field their strongest 13 players for this crucial game.
The Dolphins‘ defense has been a major concern during their recent slump, as they have failed to keep their opponents under 30 points in the last three matches. O’Sullivan acknowledged the issue but reassured that the team is not panicking. He emphasised that coach Wayne Bennett has set the expectation that such defensive lapses are not acceptable for the club. O’Sullivan also highlighted the importance of remaining calm and focusing on executing their game plan. The team aims to emulate their strong defensive performances from the early rounds of the NRL season when they played cohesively and supported each other on the field.
The upcoming match against the Broncos will be the second encounter between the two teams this season. Their previous meeting in Round 4 resulted in an 18-12 victory for the Broncos, attracting a crowd of 51,047 at Suncorp Stadium. The Dolphins will be eager to avenge their previous loss and secure a much-needed win to strengthen their position in the competition.