AN HOUR can sometimes be an eternity in football and Redcliffe proved just as much on the weekend, bouncing back from a 14-0 deficit to beat Souths Logan 20-14 in a gripping affair at Brandon Park.
After allowing the Magpies free reign in the opening 20 minutes, the Dolphins spent the next 60 minutes squeezing the life out of their opposition and asserting their dominance to stay equal competition leaders.
No player better exemplified Redcliffe�s swift change in circumstance than debutant winger Kaine Manihera.
In just the second minute Manihera committed the ultimate rookie error � letting a kick bounce when he was in a position to take it on the full. The result was a try to Souths Logan speedster Damian Willis, gleefully pouncing for his sixth four-pointer of the season.
Fast forward to the end of the game and Manihera was standing tall with two tries and a performance which impressed Dolphins coach Anthony Griffin.
�Kaine responded well. That was a bad error for that first try,� said Griffin.
�He just got caught out as a lot of wingers do early on. But I thought he had a good game in general. He showed some composure.�
Nevertheless, Griffin described his team as �flattened� by the opening try, particularly considering the Dolphins� 42-28 loss to Toowoomba the previous week.
It took a concerted defensive effort and a large helping of self belief for the peninsula club to dig itself out of the hole, while hooker Michael Roberts led the turnaround in attack.
Experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in 2006, the two-time QANTAS Player of the Year winner appears to be reveling in his switch from halfback to the pack.
�When the positional change happened originally it was in the middle of last season and he didn�t have that much opportunity to adjust,� said Griffin.
�But now he�s just getting better and better. He prepared himself physically during the offseason as well, which makes a big difference. I�d say he�s put on four or five kilos, plus he does a lot of extras at training.
�I think hooker makes the game a lot simpler for Mick and he has a great sense about what to do straight away. He knows the right time to run. At halfback things are not so clear and I think maybe he was guilty sometimes of thinking a bit too much. The most encouraging thing is that I don�t think we have seen the best of him there yet.�
Unfortunately for Redcliffe both Roberts (elbow) and half Marty Turner (foot) are the players most in doubt for Sunday�s blockbuster against North Queensland at Dolphin Oval.
REDCLIFFE 20 (Kaine Manihera 2, Greg Bourke, Nick Emmett tries; Greg Bourke 2 goals) d SOUTHS LOGAN 14 (Tyrone Coppedge, Damian Willis, Stanley Fau tries; Tim Cannard goal) at Brandon Park.