Dolphins' Isaako inspired by late father's words

·2-min read
Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS

Jamayne Isaako is playing like a man inspired for the Dolphins and it is the words of his late father Taai that are driving him to new heights.

Isaako scored two tries and kicked five from five in the Dolphins' 26-12 win over St George Illawarra on Thursday night in his 100th NRL match.

He pointed skyward when he scored his first try in honour of Taai, who he lost to cancer in 2020.

"I have my dad on my right wrist every single week," Isaako said.

"He was there for my first (game) and he is the reason I am still here today.

"I was on the verge of quitting footy when he passed away but his words before he went were that he wanted me to stick at this and what I love, and that is obviously football."

Isaako is the NRL's leading scorer with 138 points and is one of the top wingers in the competition after rediscovering the form that led to him being Dally M rookie of the year in 2018 when current mentor Wayne Bennett coached him at the Broncos.

"I am just thankful that Wayne has come into my life and brought that good footy back out of me because it is showing this year," Isaako said.

"Some of the things he says and the way he approaches me reminds me a little bit of how my dad used to talk to me," Isaako said of his Dolphins father-figure.

"We have a really good connection together and I have a lot of respect for Wayne for what he has done in the game.

"(Playing well) is my way of showing him that I appreciate the opportunity he has given me to play here at the Dolphins."

Isaako could not have celebrated his 100th game in any better fashion.

"To rack up 100 games is pretty special and to top it off with a win is even more memorable," he said.

"The goal kicking is something I've been working hard on this year and to get a double ... I couldn't have thought of anything better."