Home Australia Flegler’s hit shakes Dolphins ahead of Broncos’ battle at Lang Park

Flegler’s hit shakes Dolphins ahead of Broncos’ battle at Lang Park

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A serious looking NRL coach looks at journalists as he answers questions at a press conference.

It’s a case of deja vu for Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins after prop Thomas Flegler was ruled out of the clash with city rivals Brisbane.

Flegler (shoulder) was unable to join the team captain’s race on Thursday and joins center Herbie Farnworth (shoulder) and second rower Felise Kaufusi (hamstring) on ​​the Dolphins’ injured list, who are at the top of the table.

Lock Max Plath and utility Kurt Donoghoe are suspended for Friday night’s clash at Lang Park.

Flegler’s replacement is 24-year-old middle forward Lachlan Hubner, who will make his NRL debut.

“Tom won’t be playing. His arm isn’t right, but Lachlan has been with us for two years and also played a few trial matches,” Bennett said.

“He has always impressed us and it is an opportunity for him. We are running out of centre-backs and he is a centre-back.

“Just his work ethic [impresses me] and the kind of boy he is. He fits our culture.”

The Dolphins also had everything go wrong before and during last year’s 18-12 loss to Brisbane in round four.

They were without hooker Jeremy Marshall-King and Kaufusi due to a suspension before the ball was kicked. Isaiya Katoa, then playing at number six, was unavailable due to injury.

They then lost Kodi Nikorima to a concussion in the 26th minute and halfback Sean O’Sullivan to a torn pectoral muscle in the 61st.

During the final quarter of the game, they did not have any recognized playmakers on the field, apart from starter Anthony Milford, five-eighth.

All of that may have explained why Coach Bennett looked forlorn in the locker room after the 26-16 win over the Wests Tigers last week, when his trio of stars suffered injuries.

Wayne Bennett says he’s thinking about the game, not last year.(Getty Images: Chris Hyde)

If it felt like Groundhog Day for the head coach after a series of injuries to Kaufusi, Flegler and Farnworth, he wasn’t showing it.

“I haven’t thought much about the past year. I’m just thinking about tomorrow,” Bennett said.

“[The derby] It’s wonderful for the game and wonderful for the crowd. That makes it the great show that it is with all the anticipation that comes with it.

“If you look at the big sports in the world, whether it’s soccer, football or basketball, they have their local derbies and they mean a lot to everyone. This one fits the bill and everyone has accepted it.”

AAP

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