Gold Coast Titans Try Scorers: Taylor 3
Goals: Henry 2/3
New Zealand Warriors Try Scorers: Matulino, Johnson, Fusitua 2, Mannering
Goals: Townsend 2/5
Dave Taylor’s first half hat-trick wasn’t enough to see off the visiting New Zealand Warriors as they dominated the second half to see out a 16-24 victory.
The Gold Coast has been a happy hunting ground for the Warriors as they enjoyed a fourth straight win away at the Titans.
Titans led at half-time after Dave Taylor’s hat-trick was enough to edge them ahead of the Warriors who scored through Matulino, Johnson and Fusitua. Fusitua got his second to wrap up the game before Mannering had scored early on with Gold Coast failing to score a second half point.
Faifai Loa looked to have crossed after just three minutes when Gold Coast benefitted from back to back penalties however the pass to the winger was judged to be forward.
Konrad Hurrell produced a rampaging run as New Zealand then went close however it was Ben Matulino who opened the scoring with his third try of the campaign after Chad Townsend found the big front rower out the back. He scythed through the Gold Coast line to put the visitors 0-4 ahead.
The Titans hit back as Sam Tomkins came up with a blunder on his own try line when he spilled a grubber kick as he dove low to take it and Dave Taylor was on hand to scoop up the loose ball and dive over in the corner. Beau Henry converted from out wide to make it 6-4 to the Titans.
Shaun Johnson came up with a brilliant try to put the Warriors back in front when he was in support of David Fusitua, who offloaded to Johnson and the New Zealand international raced away to round the fullback and score. Townsend converted his first of the evening to make it 6-10.
Dave Taylor got his second off the back of a Warriors error in their own half when a good switch play close to the Warriors line ended in Taylor storming over and taking a few New Zealand defenders with him. Henry couldn’t add the extras and the scores were level at 10-10.
The Warriors scored next as a long pass found Konrad Hurrell, who did well to take the pass low and find young winger Fusitua who scored out wide as they went four points ahead.
There was still time for one last try in the half and it was Dave Taylor who completed a sensational first half hat-trick. The move started when Carter broke after he charged down a kick and from the resulting play Taylor produced another rampaging run to cross out wide. Henry converted to send his side into the sheds 16-14 ahead.
Simon Mannering scored the first points of the second half to change the lead once again after the video referee righty overturned the on-field decision. The New Zealand skipper drove his way to the line and just did enough to find the line with the ball. Townsend made it 14-20.
The game was tightening up as neither side could dominate the exchanges in the middle until Konrad Hurrell came up with a superb offload under the attention of two Titans defenders to feed Fusitua for his second. Townsend came close with the conversion but missed as they extended the lead to 16-24.
The Warriors started to get a strangle hold on the game as they forced the Titans to drop-out on a number of occasions and controlled the possession but to their credit the Titans held them out well through a tough period of the game.
Gold Coast tried to get back into the game with some off the cuff plays but they couldn’t break the Warriors resistance as they held on to continue their good run of form as they push for the top eight.