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The Dolphins NRL 2024 Team Previews, Predictions & Player Movement

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Last updated: 09 Feb 2024
Ryan Tucker 09 Feb 2024
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  • Expected to overachieve their Pythagorean Win Expectation of 9 wins
  • Key new signings include Herbie Farnworth, Jake Averillo and Thomas Flegler
  • Poor defence and a lack of roster depth could prove problematic
jamayne isaako
Jamayne Isaako of the Dolphins (Photo by Izhar Khan/Getty Images)

NRL 2024 Team Previews, Predictions & Player Movement: The Dolphins

 

Where they finish: 13th

  • NRL 2024 Team Previews, Predictions & Player Movement: The Dolphins
  • Where they finish: 13th
  • What’s to like 
  • What’s NOT to like
  • The Dolphins Offseason Player Movement
  • The Dolphins Predicted Starting 17

I think the Dolphins improve in 2024 and overachieve against their Pythagorean Win Expectation of 9 wins. The problem is all the teams around them are also expected to improve. The Dolphins need more depth and more time to gel as a squad.

What’s to like 


The Dolphins had a great start to 2023 winning their first 3 games in a row. Wayne Bennett had the lads in order and it was easy to see that they were a little step above the rest in terms of conditioning and mindset early in the season. If they are able to replicate that effort this year and possibly improve on it, then their early season schedule of 10 games in QLD out of their first 12 could result in an even greater win count than last year. 

The Dolphins are one of the teams that made the biggest splash in the off-season transfer market. Herbie Farnworth and Jake Averillo have joined the club to reinforce the outside backs whilst Thomas Flegler comes across from QLD rivals Brisbane. Flegler averaged 113 run metres and 2.4 line breaks in his 22 games last season and will be a significant piece in Bennetts line-up in 2024.

What’s NOT to like


The dramatic drop off in form in the second half of their maiden season left many wondering about the stamina of the Dolphins. One of the hardest things for a new team is creating and managing roster depth and that became very apparent for the newcomers after injuries decimated their halves pairing of Sean O’Sullivan and Isaiya Katoa, who looked promising over the first few weeks of the competition.

The Dolphins conceded the most run metres on average of any team in the 2023 season at 1512m/game, over 200 more metres than league leading Panthers. A contributing factor to that number and to again highlight how weak the outside defence was for the Dolphins in 2023 they conceded a league worst average of 6.8 linebreaks per game. The recruitment of Farnworth and Averillo should help stop that bleeding but defence is a team effort and something that will quickly disintegrate if it is not a priority for the team.



The Dolphins Offseason Player Movement


Ins: Herbie Farnworth (Broncos), Tom Flegler (Broncos), Jake Averillo (Bulldogs)

Outs: Brenko Lee (released), Herman Ese’ese (Hull FC)

The Dolphins Predicted Starting 17


1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
2. Jamayne Isaako
3. Herbie Farnworth
4. Jake Averillo
5. Jack Bostock
6. Isaiya Katoa
7. Sean O’Sullivan
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Jeremy Marshall-King
10. Tom Flegler
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Connelly Lemuelu
13. Tom Gilbert

14. Ray Stone
15. Kenny Bromwich
16. Euan Aitken
17. Jarrod Wallace

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