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Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow cops it from Paul Vautin over 'dumb' scenes in NRL loss

Tabuai-Fidow's inexplicable error summed up a shocking start to the season for Wayne Bennett's men.

A shocking gaffe from Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has summed up the Dolphins' shocking start to the NRL season and earned the fullback a roasting from league great Paul Vautin. The Dolphins were trounced by the North Queensland Cowboys 43-18 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday in a worrying sign for Wayne Bennett's men.

The performance was a far cry from the famous round one win over the Sydney Roosters last year, in what was the Dolphins' maiden campaign in the NRL. Five first-half tries saw the Cowboys take a commanding 31-12 lead at halftime and things only got worse for the Dolphins after the break.

Pictured right is Dolphins NRL star Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow was crucified for his moment of madness in the Dolphins' big loss to the Cowboys in round one of the NRL. Pic: Fox League/Getty

With his side needing to score first in the second half to have any hope of launching a fightback, Tabuai-Fidow gifted the Cowboys a try after a moment of madness at the back. Murray Taulagi put in a grubber kick that the Dolphins fullback looked to have easily covered.

But instead of diving on the ball and taking the tackle from the Cowboys players rushing in, Tabuai-Fidow bizarrely tried to kick the ball off the ground. The only problem was it bounced straight into the grateful clutches of Heilum Luki to score an easy try for North Queensland.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow savaged over shocking gaffe

The inexplicable blunder sparked a wave of backlash against Tabuai-Fidow, who was curiously awarded one Dally M point after the contest, despite his side's heavy defeat. Vautin described the play from Tabuai-Fidow as "really dumb", with fans flooding social media in agreeance.

"It's great footy by the Cowboys but this is turning into a nightmare round one game for the Dolphins," Vautin said on Nine's coverage. "But they've only got themselves on to blame, I've seen some really dumb things. Listen, dive on the ball champ. Just dive on it. Pick it up or dive on it, don't kick it."

Cowboys go top after big win

Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater and centre Valentine Holmes were constant threats for the Cowboys, whose big win sees them jump to the top of the NRL ladder. The Dolphins' big defeat was made even worse by an injury to second-rower Connelly Lemuelu, who left the field just before halftime with a knee injury.

New Cowboys centre Zac Laybutt was outstanding. The Papua New Guinea international sliced through feeble defence to open the scoring in the second minute and trampled Dolphins half Sean O'Sullivan to set up winger Kyle Feldt under the posts after half-an-hour.

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Holmes was the provider for a try to winger Murray Taulagi, while back-rower Jeremiah Nanai sliced through some naive Dolphins edge defence. New Dolphins signing Thomas Flegler and fellow prop Josh Kerr crashed over with determined runs before the break but there was little for them to cheer about in the first half.

Seen here, Cowboys back-rower Jeremiah Nanai is tackled by Dolphins players in their NRL round one match.
Cowboys back-rower Jeremiah Nanai is tackled by Dolphins players in their NRL round one match. Pic: Getty

Laybutt was awarded a late penalty try to cap a memorable match, while Tabuai-Fidow showed how dangerous he can be in attack to set up a late consolation try for winger Jack Bostock. Bennett said it was a disappointing display but backed his troops to bounce back in round two against the Dragons next Sunday.

"They found us out on fifth and last plays, not too many other areas," Bennett said. "I've got a good group of guys that work really hard. We had a bad day. We've got 23 games to go. If we put it behind us quickly we'll be a lot better off than if we drag it out. We'll keep it stable and not overreact."

with AAP

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