‘Missing Ponga is a big one’

The person behind the NRL’s growth into the Gold Coast has warned the Dolphins their early years shall be bleak if they will’t coax somebody of Cameron Munster’s high quality to Redcliffe.

The Dolphins’ failure to make a splash within the participant market was accentuated final week by Kalyn Ponga’s choice to remain at Newcastle, leaving the NRL’s seventeenth membership more and more unlikely to seize a giant fish.

Since their 2023 entry into the competitors was rubber-stamped final October, Wayne Bennett’s solely established signings are Kenny Bromwich, Jesse Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi, Jamayne Isaako, Ray Stone, Mark Nicholls and Tom Gilbert.

The Dolphins have more and more been used as leverage by participant managers because the likes of Brandon Smith, Reed Mahoney and now Ponga have slipped via their grasp.

It’s already threatening to be a degree of concern, in line with Gold Coast’s inaugural soccer supervisor Scott Sattler.

“Missing Ponga is a big one,” he instructed AAP.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: Kalyn Ponga (C) reacts during a Newcastle Knights NRL media opportunity at the Knights Centre of Excellence on April 20, 2022 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Peter Lorimer/Getty Images)

(Photograph by Peter Lorimer/Getty Photos)

“Munster is not even in the discussion at the moment because he’s on contract for 2023 and the Dolphins have already taken three of Melbourne’s players.”

Sattler is aware of a factor or two about start-up golf equipment.

His father, John, was a part of the consortium that entered the Gold Coast Giants into the competitors in 1988 at 4 months’ discover.

Sattler performed for the South Queensland Crushers between 1995 and 1996 earlier than being a part of the Titans’ arrange for his or her entry again in 2007.

“I reckon they could be a big chance of signing Reece Walsh from the Warriors because he engages a young fan base,” he mentioned.

“The signings they’ve made will set the values that may proceed via the membership.

“They are astute moves by Wayne (Bennett) but you do need that big fish that sends a message to members that you’re a chance of winning most weekends.”

Sattler mentioned the most important factor working towards the Dolphins was their lack of lead-in time.

From the day the Titans had been granted their licence in Could 2005, that they had a hit-list that led to the signings of Preston Campbell, Scott Prince, Luke Bailey and Mat Rogers from rugby union earlier than their debut sport in 2007.

Digby Ioane was one other they bought near including, and the Titans had been so bold they tried to signal Jonah Lomu as a bench ahead — just for the latter’s spouse, who doubled as his agent, to demand they pay the All Blacks nice “phonebook numbers” and ask for a share of gate takings.

“We had a long run-in from May 27, 2005 which I remember because it was the same day Schapelle Corby was found guilty in Bali,” Sattler mentioned.

“I believe watching the Giants in ’87, it pressured us to take a distinct angle in recruitment.

“We did all the pieces backwards, which meant that we had been speaking to golf equipment about gamers they couldn’t maintain past their current contracts and getting gamers to signal letters of intent method earlier than we had been granted a licence.

“You’ve bought to promote the membership earlier than you get the licence.

“It’s arrogant, I know, but I’ve seen it work.”


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