Corey Parker has taken aim at the NRL for dudding the Dolphins with the 2024 draw, saying they have thrown "some absolute rubbish" the way of league's newest team. Parker says the Dolphins have been handed the worst Magic Round match and have their biggest game of the year at the worst time possible.
The Dolphins are also the only club that plays a game leading into each of the three Origin fixtures, which would mean a number of their star players will miss the game if selected. Last season Wayne Bennett’s side missed Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Tom Gilbert during the Origin period.
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“There have been some absolute rubbish thrown the Dolphins’ way,” Parker said on SEN. “Pre-Origin, they are the only team there every single week. They faded at the back but they’ve been handed this draw.
“The biggest clash, the Dolphins up against the Broncos in Round 26 at Suncorp Stadium is (during) the Riverfire (Festival) where half a million people will be moving throughout the season. Magic Round is a carnival-like atmosphere and the Dolphins are playing the last game against the mighty Wests Tigers.
“At that point, people just want to go home and prepare for Monday and that there is just another low blow for the Dolphins.”
The Dolphins have also filed a complaint to the Queensland government, asking for assistance relating to Brisbane's annual festival Riverfire, which brings around 500,000 visitors to the city. The festival will clash with the Dolphins' biggest game of the year against cross-town rivals the Broncos.
“We have contacted the Brisbane Festival to investigate what the opportunities might be to integrate the game into the build-up and celebrations around Riverfire,” Dolphins chief executive Terry Reader told News Corp.
Key dates for 2024 NRL season:
March 2: Las Vegas season opener (Manly v South Sydney, Sydney Roosters v Brisbane)
March 21: Penrith v Brisbane (grand-final rematch in round three)
May 16: Women's State of Origin I, Suncorp Stadium
May 17-19: Magic Round, Suncorp Stadium
June 5: Men's State of Origin I, Accor Stadium
June 6: Women's State of Origin II, Newcastle
June 26: Men's State of Origin II, MCG
June 27: Women's State of Origin III, Townsville
July 17: Men's State of Origin III, Suncorp Stadium
October 6: NRL and NRLW grand finals
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