Rowan Anderson reviews the Warriors returning to their temporary Central Coast home to play the Titans ….. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Bayley Sironen (25), Leeson Ah Mau (51), Kodi Nikorima (68)
Goals: Kodi Nikorima (27, 53, 70)
Field Goals: Chanel Harris-Tavita (80)
Tries: Corey Thompson (73)
Goals: Jamal Fogarty (74)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Chanel Harris-Tavita (New Zealand Warriors)
2 pts – Kodi Nikorima (New Zealand Warriors)
1 pt – Anthony Don (Gold Coast Titans)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
It was a gritty contest with strong defence from both sides and a fairly equal possession count just favouring the Titans. The Gold Coast pack had chances to go in for tries, but came away with nothing.
Ash Taylor thought he had touched down for the Titans’ first points, but was held up by a gutsy defensive effort from the Warriors.
The Warriors’ Bayley Sironen scored the game’s first try, hitting and spinning from close range in the 25th minute.
HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 6 Gold Coast Titans 0Embed from Getty Images
Both teams meant business early in the second half, but the Titans had bulk possession in the first 10 minutes after the break.
They had a chance to score early in the second half: a kick up to the right corner was taken by Kevin Proctor to score a potential try, but it was ruled as a knock on.
The Titans retained possession following Anthony Don being held away from contesting the ball. The fresh set ended with a forward pass to Don, who went over for a try, to no avail.
Chanel Harris-Tavita was placed on report after tripping Patrick Herbert and the Titans were awarded a penalty as a result, but nothing came from it.
With 28 minutes left, a penalty was given to the Warriors following an outburst by Brian Kelly. It only took a couple of tackles before the man mountain Leeson Ah Mau crashed over and extended the Warriors’ lead.
With 11 minutes left, Kodi Nikorima came through to score another try and further extend the lead.
The Titans finally scored with seven minutes left as Corey Thompson ran a clear path through for a try.
Harris-Tavita kicked the close-range field goal to add an extra point and take a 13-point win.
After their strong end to 2020, there were too many lost opportunities and far too many errors from the Titans, which was the difference between the two sides.
FULL-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 19 Gold Coast Titans 6
Euan Aitken (Warriors) – ankle – surgery required – 3 to 4 month recovery.
Brian Kelly (Titans) – hand – 3 week recovery.
Match Review Committee
Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors) – Grade 1 Tripping – Early Guilty Plea taken – $1150 fine