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Averillo fires for Dolphins after early axing

3 minute read

Dolphins centre Jake Averillo was left out of the team in round one but has forced his way straight back in after heeding advice from coach Wayne Bennett.

WAYNE BENNETT. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Dolphins centre Jake Averillo was left out of the round-one team, but instead of kicking stones he relished the challenge set by coach Wayne Bennett and fought his way straight back into the side.

The 23-year-old has been in silky form for the top-of-the-table Dolphins in big wins over St George Illawarra and Gold Coast.

He scored a try against the Dragons, set one up against the Titans and gives the side strike on the left edge alongside No.6 Kodi Nikorima and winger Jack Bostock.

Averillo was signed from Canterbury with big expectations after he was the leading tryscorer for the Bulldogs last year.

Missing out to Tesi Niu in round one against North Queensland was no hit to his ego after he had played in the trials.

"I didn't see it that way at all," Averillo said ahead of Saturday night's clash with Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium.

"It obviously was disappointing but I just had to keep my head high and not dwell on it too much. I didn't lose any confidence.

"I didn't really do too much wrong, Wayne said. I tried to play some good footy in the Queensland Cup and got the recall the week after. It was sooner than I expected but I am happy to be back."

Averillo said Bennett had "a couple of little things" he wanted him to work on to force his way back, which he applied in a superb display for Norths Devils.

The coach was providing plenty of feedback to his players at Tuesday's training session, calling individuals out and having lengthy chats.

"The biggest thing is that he is really honest. He will tell you how it is," Averillo said.

"He takes away all the head noise so you can move onto your job for the next week."

The Dolphins lead the competition on six points due to their superior for and against but the Tigers are firing under new coach Benji Marshall and are equal with them on the ladder.

"I feel like we are building really well with strike all over the park and good balance," Averillo said.

"The Tigers have been in really good form. Both teams are towards the top of the table which was probably not expected and it should be a good crowd at Suncorp. I can't wait."

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