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REVIEW: The talking points from Dawn of the Dolphins, Episode 1

After much anticipation, the NRL’s newest team is here, and the Dolphins are poised to take the league by storm.

Also included is Episode 1 of Dawn of the Dolphins, the three-part docu-series detailing the origins of Dolphin’s NRL tenure.

From coaching puzzles to territory issues, this is an in-depth look at what it takes to start an NRL team.

“Having access to the sanctum of the greatest NRL coach of all time in Wayne Bennett is a special privilege and we look forward to sharing the fascinating story of this proud club,” said Stans Chief Content Officer Cailah Scobey.

We’ve rounded up the biggest talking points from episode one below.

THE DOLPHINS IDENTITY CRISIS

The town of Redcliffe was in raptures when the news broke that their beloved Redcliffe Dolphins had earned a spot in the NRL, with episode one showing just how much it meant to the area.

But those celebrations quickly turned to disappointment when it was announced the Dolphins would be playing without Redcliffe, angering many longtime fans of the club.

A new story begins now in the Stan Original documentary series Dawn Of The Dolphins. Premiering on Monday, only at Stan’s

It was subsequently explained that the Dolphins would not be allowed to share the same name as the Redcliffe Dolphins as the latter play in the Queensland Cup, but it was a shaky first step for a club looking to make their mark in the league.

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As comedian Mike van Acker put it, “Don’t call it Redcliffe, it’s the dolphins, from an unknown location.”

The fine line between genius and madness

There’s no denying that Wayne Bennett is one of the biggest rugby league madmen the world has ever seen.

But this look at his start with the Dolphins clearly shows that Bennett’s success comes at a price.

Bennett admits he has dedicated his life to football, often at the expense of his family and personal life, especially given his introverted nature.

The episode begins with the coach admitting that he has a hard time opening up to people, even saying that earlier that day he decided he wasn’t going to do well in the interview.

He also said he doesn’t read newspapers, turns off the TV when rugby league is mentioned and is responsible for the livelihoods of many other jobs… If we get it wrong at the beginning, it takes ten years to get it right .”

Still, Bennett knew he had to take the job, going so far as to refer to himself as “the chosen one.”

FOR ALL FANS, YOUNG AND OLD

They may be the NRL’s newest team, but the Dolphins’ Redcliffe storyline has garnered them an incredibly devoted fan base, spanning the entire age spectrum in the first episode alone.

First we meet a fan whose elderly mother is sleeping with a photo of her and Wayne Bennett on one side of her bed and a photo of her and Petero Civoniceva on the other side.

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Later we meet some of the club’s younger fans, Angus Kruger and Jesse Fuary-James, both of whom charm the club’s leadership with a series of questions about staff changes at a local rebel sport.

The two do such a good job that they get their own profile section in the episode, explaining that they spend their time at school refreshing their iPads to see if there’s any news about Dolphins.

WHAT IS BEHIND THE EXPANSION?

Much of this episode is the “how” of the NRL expanded to 17 teams, but a good portion also addresses the “why,” albeit with somewhat mixed results.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo tells us that the NRL had to expand or risked shrinking, but then says you don’t want to expand to expand.

Journalist Robert Craddock says the league didn’t need to expand, but it’s good that it did.

The Moreton Daily editor says an expansion with the Dolphins was needed, particularly as Brisbane needed another club and the Broncos needed a rival.

It’s ultimately unclear what the ultimate reason for the expansion was, but it’s clear that everyone involved is glad the league did it.

DOLPHINCEPTIONS

It could be a series about a new NRL team, but that hasn’t stopped the team behind Dawn of the Dolphin from taking inspiration from one of the world’s greatest directors, Christopher Nolan.

The score could have been written by Hans Zimmer himself, and the opening cut is packed with fast-paced action, including a one-minute span that takes us to Leeds, then Brisbane, then Headingley in the UK and back to Redcliffe again.

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Hopefully the Dolphins game can live up to the game of their publishers.

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