Home Away from Home
They’ve got plenty of Kiwi support in the stands, and after winning on the Gold Coast for the 7th time in a row, the Warriors should maybe considering making Cbus Super Stadium their new home ground. The New Zealand side had been unable to record an away victory all season, however their woes when travelling across the ditch were quickly forgotten about when visiting their home away from home. The notoriously inconsistent Warriors always manage to find an extra gear against the Titans, amazingly winning 13 of the past 14 games between the two sides.
Injuries Hit Hard
The Warriors may have walked away from the Gold Coast with a new-found confidence as they look to keep their season alive, however an injury to star half Kieran Foran has the potential to bring all their hope crashing down. The crafty playmaker had to be assisted from the field with a painful leg injury, although initial reports are claiming the injury may simply be a corked thigh. Meanwhile, the Titans miserable performance was just the beginning of Neil Henry’s woes, as the Gold Coast lost Konrad Hurrell, Kane Elgey and Karl Lawton to injury in the second half. Hurrell had to be assisted off the field with an ankle injury, while Elgey and Lawton suffered a sternum and shoulder injury respectively.
Titan’s Throw their Season Away
After qualifying for the finals last year and further strengthening their roster, big things were expected from the Titans in 2017. They had an excuse for their 1-6 opening to the season due to a horrendous injury run, and when they finally got their full strength side on the field they exploded into form with a last second loss to the Broncos, an upset away victory over the Sharks, and one of the best wins in club history over the Storm at Suncorp. The Titans looked destined for a run into the top 8 and the finals. Since then, the Titans have been nothing but disappointing. They’ve let down their home crowd with terrible performances against Manly and the Warriors, and blew away very winnable games against the Warriors and a Cowboys side missing Jonathan Thurston, due to soft defence and schoolboy errors in attack. They still remain within 2 wins of the top 8, however with teams above them such as the Panthers, Warriors and Raiders hitting form, it looks very unlikely that the Titans can sneak into one of the final two spots in the 8.
Warriors Finally Play to Potential
The Warriors make most fans want to rip their hair out as week in week out they fail to make good use of the ridiculous amount of talent in their side, but on Saturday the good Warriors decided to finally show up, and boy was it good to watch. With a fired up forward pack leading the way, Foran and Johnson were able to pick the Titans apart, Johnson claiming 3 try assists and Foran laying on one. Fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also showed signs of his explosive best, bursting through the Titans line for a try and laying on another for Blake Ayshford.
New Zealand Warriors: 34
Tries: Hoffman, Ayshford 2, Maumalo, Tuivasa-Sheck, Hingano
Goals: Luke 4/5, Hoffman 1/1
Gold Coast Titans
Tries: Elgey, Hayne, Copley
Goals: Taylor 0/2, Don 0/1