Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Dolphins recently missed out on securing Cameron Munster’s signature after him recommitting to the Melbourne Storm until the end of 2027.
It has been a tough recruitment haul for the NRL’s newest franchise as the talent pool available to negotiate with for The Dolphins first season was never the strongest to begin with.
After starting strong by signing some veteran and promising forwards Wayne Bennett was not left with many options for his backline with Anthony Milford, Edrick Lee, Euan Aitken and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow being The Dolphins highest quality recruits in that area, with Tabuai-Fidow being released from a pre-existing contract at the North Queensland Cowboys to join the club next season.
Unfortunately there is not a whole lot The Dolphins can do about the quality of players available for next season and they had seemingly acknowledged that by instead focusing on preparing a deal for Munster that they could officially offer him when he became available to negotiate.
Of course this is no longer possible so Bennett will have to look elsewhere for his marquee man.
Penrith Panthers legend Mark Geyer spoke about The Dolphins predicament on Triple M and believes that the NRL should have given The Dolphins further salary cap dispensation to recruit a star.
Cameron Munster reportedly in purple until 2027! ⚡
Dolphins miss out on another big name… pic.twitter.com/wWb3RaTrBO
— Triple M NRL (@TripleM_NRL) October 6, 2022
“I think they’ve [The Dolphins] got to have a marquee exempt from salary cap or something for the first three years,” said Geyer.
“They’ve [the NRL] got to do something to help them out because what’s happening with the Dolphins every player-manager has said that their client is going to the Dolphins.
“Then they get leverage from that from their own club so they stay at their own clubs for more money, if you can’t see what’s happening you’re Stevie Wonder.
“It’s happening right before our eyes and Wayne Bennett’s pissed off about it.”
Bennett is known for exceeding expectations and helping certain players to achieve much more of what is expected of them but this will arguably be his biggest challenge yet as The Dolphins are tipped to not only miss the top eight next season but are favourites to contend for the wooden spoon.