Brad Inger reviews the Titans vs Warriors clash. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Jayden Campbell (6, 69), Mitch Rein (19), David Fifita (32, 41), Brian Kelly (53), Patrick Herbert (65), Moeaki Fotuaika (78)
Goals: Jamal Fogerty (7, 20, 43, 55, 71, 79)
Sin Bin: Jarrod Wallace (65)
Sin Bin: Jazz Tevaga (64), Matt Lodge (65), Kane Evans (65)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Jayden Campbell (Titans)
2 pts – David Fifita (Titans)
1 pt – Jamal Fogarty (Titans)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The pressure was all on the Titans in this match, a victory here by 11 or more would see them return to the finals, but it didn’t start well for them, with the Warriors looking to have scored off their first set. The Bunker denied the try after replays showed that Euan Aitken lost the ball when he went over the line. Gold Coast struck back with a strong set, surging up the field before being tackled on the last. The game continued its fast pace with the Warriors earning a penalty, and good field position after Reece Walsh was contacted while in the air, but once again the New Zealand let their opportunity slip when Matt Lodge lost the ball while attempting to reach out and score. The Titans took advantage of the let-off and marched up the field with relative ease before youngster Jayden Campbell pushed a grubber through before diving on it for the first try of the afternoon. After that score, the game started to settle with both sides trading sets, but they could not create scoring opportunities due to unforced errors. The Titans were the more dominant side, looking more threatening with the ball in hand. They were helped out by some poor discipline from the Warriors, handing them repeat sets after giving away several six again calls and penalties. Gold Coast kept plugging away and eventually turned their possession into points when Mitch Rein burrowed his way over from dummy half. The Titans continued their stranglehold on the match with several strong sets, while the Warriors lack of respect for the ball remained with the visitors struggling to finish sets off. The Warriors challenged a knock-on call and had it overturned. However, they still looked clueless on attack and moments later were standing under the goalposts once again after the Titans broke through their defensive line, with Campbell looking certain to score before being dragged down by Walsh, a quick play the ball straight after that saw the Titans make easy work of the Warriors scrambling defence, sending David Fifita over in the corner. Luck was not on the Warriors side as they dropped ball after ball, but they were able to slow the Titans scoring down, which saw the Gold Coast walk into the sheds with a 16-0 lead and one foot into the playoffs.
HALF-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 16 New Zealand Warriors 0Embed from Getty Images
The Warriors started the second half in the same manner as the first half, giving away another penalty for stripping the ball. Addin Fonua-Blake challenged the call but was unsuccessful. The Titans wasted little time, and after a strong run from Patrick Herbert, were over the try line again when Fifita bulldozed his way over the line from dummy-half. The New Zealand side started to show a bit more promise with the ball in hand with a few probing runs and looked to have scored in the corner through Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, but the pass was deemed forward. A Titans error handed the Warriors another set in good field position, but a mistimed kick saw them remain scoreless. A silly penalty against Kane Evans for leading with his elbow into the defender swung momentum back into the Titans favour, and a few tackles later, they were over once again has Brian Kelly strolled over untouched to score his sides fifth try of the day. The weather suddenly turned, and as the rain started to fall, the Titans made some errors; however, the Warriors still could not get across the line as Rocco Berry was dragged over the sideline. A pull-apart saw Jazz Tevaga sent to the bin for rushing in and pushing a player. Pandemonium struck on the next set when Lodge hit Tyrone Peachy late and started another skirmish which saw Lodge sin-binned for the tackle, and Kane Evans and Jarrod Wallace also sent to the bin for throwing punches. This saw the Warriors playing with 10 men against the Titans 12, and the home side made quick work of the numbers advantage sending Patrick Herbert over. A few sets later, another Warriors drop ball saw the Campbell ran the field’s length to score another try as the New Zealand side had clearly given up. The Titans steamroller continued making easy meters, but a Fifita forward pass handed the Warriors a breather; however, they continued their poor effort with their 14th error of the match. After serving another defensive set, the Warriors showed a brief glimpse of attacking football, kicking a loose ball downfield and tackling the Titans on their try line. Gold Coast looked under pressure but quickly struck into action, throwing several offloads before kicking the ball into open space for Moeaki Fotuaika to dive on the loose ball for the Titans eighth and final try as they secured their spot in the finals with a dominating 44-0 victory, with the Warriors saving their worst performance for last.
FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 44 New Zealand Warriors 0
to be advised
Match Review Committee
to be advised