The New Zealand Warriors defeated the Gold Coast Titans 20-8 to record their second successive victory in the opening two rounds of the NRL season.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney named an unchanged side after their opening round victory over South Sydney in Perth, while Titans coach Garth Brennan was forced to leave out his injured halfback Ashley Taylor, who was suffering from a torn hamstring and they clearly missed his kicking game.
Although the Titans took an early lead with a Michael Gordon penalty, the Warriors hit back with two tries before the break by David Fusitu’a and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, both goaled by Shaun Johnson.
The Titans opened the day’s scoring through a penalty kick from Michael Gordon after a poor end to the opening set of the match from Shaun Johnson saw the Warriors give away a penalty.
The Titans had been unlucky to have what looked like an early try by Kane Elgey disallowed for obstruction.
Early in the second half former Warrior Konrad Hurrell was held up over the line and then with 20 minutes remaining the Titans had another try disallowed when Phillip Sami touched down in the left corner, only to be denied again by the bunker for obstruction.
Almost immediately Solomone Kata crossed at the other on the end for a 16-2 lead with 15 minutes to play and the Warriors scored their final try when Fusitu’a leapt to take a high ball from Johnson.
The Titans finally got over the line when winger Anthony Don pounced on a Hurrell grubber to score, with Gordon adding the conversion.
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 James Gavet, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Adam Blair, 11 Isaiah Papali’i, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Ligi Sao; Interchange: 14 Sam Cook, 15 Leivaha Pulu, 16 Sam Lisone, 17 Bunty Afoa
Tries: Fusitu’a 2, Tuivasa-Sheck, Kata; Goals: Johnson 2
Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Kane Elgey, 13 Bryce Cartwright, 8 Jai Arrow, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Leilani Latu, 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Ryan James (c), 16 Will Matthews; Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 15 Max King, 17 Morgan Boyle, 18 Keegan Hipgrave
Tries: Don; Goals: Gordon
Full match reports from all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express