Why the Dolphins were forced to drop Redcliffe from their name by the NRL

In Sport


The Dolphins made a winning NRL debut against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday with 32,000 of their fans packing Suncorp Stadium, but there was one thing missing – the name Redcliffe.

Now a new Stan Original Documentary Series titled Dawn of the Dolphins has revealed the reason why.

While the Dolphins impressed mightily in their opening match, there was plenty of conjecture over the name of the new franchise in its teething stages.

Three-part documentary series Dawn of the Dolphins is airing now on Stan Originals and features behind-the-scenes footage of the rise of the new NRL franchise

Three-part documentary series Dawn of the Dolphins is airing now on Stan Originals and features behind-the-scenes footage of the rise of the new NRL franchise

Dolphins fans celebrate a try against the Roosters on Sunday. Some would've liked to see the Redcliffe name live on - and now the reason for it being dropped has come to light

Dolphins fans celebrate a try against the Roosters on Sunday. Some would’ve liked to see the Redcliffe name live on – and now the reason for it being dropped has come to light  

The Redcliffe Dolphins have a proud history dating back to 1947 and the club has produced a long line of legends including the late Artie Beetson, Brent Tate and Petero Civoniceva. 

However, with the team looking to capture a larger catchment area, names like the Moreton Bay Dolphins and Brisbane Dolphins were suggested.

They were ultimately rejected with the club removing the location completely and just running with The Dolphins.

This decision was made during the bidding process and it can be revealed that the NRL would not allow the club to be called the Redcliffe Dolphins while there was already a team of the same name in the Queensland Cup competition.

That’s despite the fact several NSW Cup teams have the same name as their NRL counterparts, including the Penrith Panthers and Newcastle Knights. 

‘Our catchment is north Brisbane, up through Moreton Bay, through the Sunshine Coast and into Central Queensland,’ Dolphins head of media and engagement Trad McLean said.

‘So Redcliffe was never going to work. And we’ve already got the Redcliffe Dolphins, you can’t have two teams with the same name.’ 

Bennett arrives to the premiere for the documentary series 'Dawn of the Dolphins' at Palace Barracks Cinema in Brisbane

Bennett arrives to the premiere for the documentary series ‘Dawn of the Dolphins’ at Palace Barracks Cinema in Brisbane

So it was The Dolphins that claimed a memorable 28-18 win over the Roosters under the guidance of supercoach Wayne Bennett.

While fans would have been right to doubt how open Bennett would be to being filmed for the new documentary, he knew providing inside access was essential to build the new brand.

That didn’t make it any easier for the 73-year-old, who admits that his introverted personality makes it exceptionally challenging to be an NRL coach. 

‘I’m fighting against it sitting here with you,’ he says in the opening to Dawn of the Dolphins as he speaks to one of the documentary creators.

‘I probably made my mind up sometime a couple of hours ago that I really don’t want to talk to you today.

‘I was going to keep everything pretty short and pretty sharp, which I have done, but I have given a bit of myself.

‘I don’t like giving of myself publicly, it’s just not who introverts are.

Bennett has a smile and some kind words for fullback Hamiso Tabui-Fidow who had an incredible debut game for his new club

Bennett has a smile and some kind words for fullback Hamiso Tabui-Fidow who had an incredible debut game for his new club

‘All my life I fought it. But I won the battle with it because I couldn’t coach if I was introverted, I’ve got to be able to communicate.

‘I can’t tell you the days and the moments in the days that I have to fight with myself to talk to somebody, not because I don’t want to talk, because I just don’t want to talk right there and right then and I don’t want to have the conversation, but I have to have it and I have to do it.’

Outside of the essential media commitments, though, don’t expect Bennett to be saying much. 

‘Does it worry me that someone says “you don’t talk much, Wayne”? None of that worries me. I talk to get my message across and after that I’m just going to shut up.’

Speaking at a Youth Rugby Coaches Forum at Nudgee in Brisbane, Bennett revealed more about what makes him tick as arguably the best coach in rugby league history.

He offered some simple advice to players. 

‘Don’t turn up with a s*** haircut,’ he said to roars of laughter.

‘I’ve only got two rules. Rule one is don’t be late, I hate people being late.

‘Because all you’re telling me is that you’re more important than the rest of us.

‘The second one is stay out of jail. But sometimes I will be flexible on that one if I need you at the game.’

Bennett takes time to meet new Dolphins fans and sign autographs after their NRL debut win over the Sydney Roosters

Bennett takes time to meet new Dolphins fans and sign autographs after their NRL debut win over the Sydney Roosters

Then he offered advice to aspiring coaches on how they can get the most out of their career – at any level. 

‘I am passionate about it, I have given my life to young men, I suppose at the expense of family,’ he said.

‘None of us are perfect. Just be the best coach you can be.

‘And if you’re not a great coach, just be a bloody good bloke because young men need ya.

‘They need your guidance and they need your help.

‘All of the players that you are going to coach are not going to be superstars, but there’s a lot of good men amongst them and you will have a huge influence on their life.

‘There’s a great line that says you know an original is worth a lot more than a copy. Just be yourself. They’ll love you for it.’

Watch the Stan Original Documentary Series, Dawn of the Dolphins from March 6  with episodes two and three to stream in the coming weeks available only on Stan.





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