‘We’ll be back!’

Resur­gent Red­cliffe vow to re­turn to the fi­nals even stronger next sea­son BY JOEL GOULD

Rugby League Week - - Pre Game -

THE RED­CLIFFE DOL­PHINS ARE BACK WHERE they be­long.

They may have lost the grand fi­nal, but af­ter three years of fail­ing to make the semis the five-time premier­ship win­ners are back as a pow­er­house of the Queens­land Cup.

Seven of their top 25 play­ers were un­avail­able for the grand fi­nal but coach Adam Mogg was in awe of his charges’ guts and de­ter­mi­na­tion, epit­o­mised by cap­tain and prop Sam An­der­son.

“Sam’s had a nerve prob­lem in his shoul­der for 10 weeks but he’s man­aged it and been out­stand­ing for us,” Mogg says.

“I got here on Novem­ber 1 and I said to ‘Crusher’ [CEO Grant Cleal], ‘I’m not go­ing to rush into [fill­ing] my cap­taincy role’.

“But I ab­so­lutely got the right per­son.

“He leads by ex­am­ple, the boys re­spect him, his work-rate is out­stand­ing and he puts the team first.

“We had a great sea­son and I’m re­ally proud of our squad.

“We fin­ished first in de­fence and first in at­tack, but we just weren’t good enough to­day.

“No dis­re­spect to any­body, but this [grand fi­nals] is where we be­long and where the club de­serves to be year on year.

“It’s our re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure we stay there and I know we’ll be stronger next year.”

The club has seen its play­ers thrive, with Tom Opacic and Jonus Pear­son both turn­ing out in the NRL for the Bron­cos this sea­son, while tal­ented half Dar­ren Ni­cholls is off to the Pan­thers.

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