Dazzling Dolphins consign Warriors to fourth on ladder

The Dolphins have ensured the Warriors will finish fourth on the NRL ladder with a comprehensive 34-10 win at Suncorp Stadium.

The New Zealand side will now play Penrith away in week one of the finals after the Panthers beat North Queensland 44-12 to finish on top of the ladder for the third time in the past four seasons.

Warriors coach Andrew Webster spoke to the media before the minor premiership was decided and said he wasn't concerned whether his side played Penrith or Brisbane, or whether the meeting took place on Friday or Saturday.

"They are two great sides. Either/or," he said.

"The seven-day turnaround would be better but a six-day doesn't matter. We are ready to go. 

"We have got to be positive about it, not negative about it."

Webster, whose side were without eight front liners due to injury and a resting policy, insisted Saturday's comprehensive loss would not have an impact on the Warriors' finals campaign.

"We know what our game looks like and what we have got to do. We will be fine," he said.

"We have got high standards as a club and individually there were really good performances (against the Dolphins) but as a team we just didn't do it."

The Dolphins, with seven top-30 players unavailable, started on fire in front of 35,438 fans when centre Tesi Niu found Jack Bostock with a slick ball and the flying winger scored out wide after seven minutes.

Half Sean O’Sullivan made it 12-0 with a classic show and go.

Prop Jarrod Wallace sent rookie utility Isaiya Katoa over with a sensational inside ball before season-leading try and points scorer Jamayne Isaako finished a sweeping move to give the hosts a 22-0 lead at the break.

The Warriors clicked into gear in the 57th minute with a try to hooker Freddy Lussick from dummy-half and winger Marcelo Montoya finished a long-range movement two minutes later.

But when Dolphins hooker Max Plath, son of Brisbane legend John, scored in the 65th minute any hopes of a Warriors comeback were over. 

Veteran forward Kenny Bromwich iced the win with a runaway try under the sticks.

Isaako took his try-scoring tally to 24, three ahead of his nearest NRL rivals at the conclusion of the contest. He has 244 points for the year and will finish top of the table to complete a rare double.

The Warriors were booked on a Saturday afternoon flight home to Auckland to give themselves the best preparation for next week's first final back in Australia.

Wayne Bennett's men moved, at least temporarily, to 13th position, ending the season with nine victories after being tipped by some pundits to finish last and not win a match.

"We can be really proud of what we set up at the start of the year and the way we played, setting those foundations as to who the Dolphins are," assistant coach Kristian Woolf said.

"We did fall away a little bit (at the end of the season). We can't hide away from that, but we can be really proud overall of what we have done. 

"Today was as good if not better than we have defended, particularly over the back half of the year."

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