Brad Inger reviews the Round 2 clash between the Titans and Warriors at Cbus Super Stadium; here’s how the match went.
Tries: Beau Fermor (1), Greg Marzhew 2 (14, 24), Phillip Sami (57)
Goals: Toby Sexton 2 (1, 15)
Tries: Wayde Egan (18), Marcelo Montoya (35), Adam Pompey (40)
Goals: Reece Walsh 3 (18, 35, 40)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
AJ Brimson wasted little time making an impact in his first game of the season, spying a hole in the Warriors defence, and sprinting up the field before putting Beau Fermor over to score in the first minute of the match.
Gold Coast could not build on the quick start with Toby Sexton kicking the ball out on the full, giving the Warriors good field position.
A penalty and six again call gave the Warriors a great chance to level the scores, but a wayward pass from the ruck saw the Titans regather possession and get themselves out of trouble.
Both sides traded sets in the middle before a Reece Walsh bomb to Jayden Campbell resulted in a repeat set; however, the Warriors forced an offload which was dropped.
Minutes later, the Warriors were back at it again after Addin Fonua-Blake broke the line, but the decision to run the ball of the last tackle did not work out for the New Zealand side as they were stopped metres away from the try line.
This once again let the Titans off the hook, and they took it with both hands, surging up the field before Campbell threw a cut-out pass to Greg Marzhew, who rampaged down the sideline before breaking the attempted tackle to go over for the second try of the afternoon.
Gold Coast took their turn making an error, throwing an offload on their five metre line directly to the Warriors, and the New Zealand side was finally on the board when Wayde Egan burrowed his way over the line from dummy half.
Moments later, Egan broke the line and found himself in open space but could not get a pass away to Walsh. The Warriors kept the pressure on and appeared to have scored again when Chanel Harris-Tavita crossed the line; however, the bunker confirmed that he lost possession when grounding the ball.
Gold Coast then handed the ball back to the Warriors after losing the ball in the ruck, but the Warriors returned the favour giving the ball back to them after almost being dragged over the sideline.
The Titans surged up the field with ease and used the same play that gifted them their second try, which resulted in their third when Marzhew scored off a David Fifita cutout pass.
The Warriors started to dominate possession but continued to struggle to break the Titans’ defence.
After forcing a repeat set and being handed three six again calls, the New Zealand side could not be denied when former Titans Ash Taylor linked up with Walsh, who sent Marcelo Montoya over in the corner.
With minutes remaining, the Warriors turned on the pressure with a Harris-Tavita 40/20 kick and, after a few failed attempts at crashing over the try line, gave the ball to Taylor, who punched a grubber kick through which appeared to be dived on by Phillip Sami.
However, the bunker had another look and deemed that Sami did not ground the ball and the Warriors had scored when Adam Pompey grounded the ball. Walsh’s conversion ended the half with the visitors leading 18-16.
HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 18 Gold Coast Titans 16Embed from Getty Images
The Titans started the second half off in the worse way possible when Campbell’s kickoff sailed over the dead-ball line, gifting the Warriors an easy start.
The visitors were close to scoring but lost control of the ball over the try-line after Eliesa Katoa and Jesse Arthars both attempted to snatch a chip kick out of the sky.
Gold Coast made easy work of getting themselves into the Warriors’ half with some strong runs from their massive forward pack but let the Warriors off the hook when Tino Fa’asuamaleaui dropped the ball. It was the Warrior’s turn to scoot up the field, but they found themselves tackled on the fifth without looking like scoring.
Both clubs started to struggle completing sets going error for error, but the Warriors were able to keep the match in Titans territory. Walsh attempted to kick early in the tackle count, which gave the Titans the chance they needed to get out of their own half, and after a penalty, they were over again, with Sami crossing the line to make up for his error in the first half, handing the lead back to the home side.
The match settled into the grind with neither side able to get the upper hand until Josh Curran charged down a kick and gave the Warriors excellent field possession, but they could not turn it into points after throwing a forward pass.
Another Titans error gave the visitors good field possession, which they returned into a repeat set after dragging Will Smith over the try line and were close to scoring when Arthars got into space and flicked a pass to Pompey, which went to the ground. The Titans appeared to have knocked the ball on straight after that, but the referee said it was a strip, and the Warriors attempted to challenge it; however, the bunker could not see enough to make a decision.
This saw the Titans take control of the match as they entered the final 10 minutes; they were unable to break the Warrior’s defensive line but were able to ensure that the New Zealand side had to fight off their own try-line, the visitors tried to create an opportunity and had a few half breaks but made some poor decisions which and could not get the job done allowing the Titans to hold on for a 20-18 victory.
FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 20 New Zealand Warriors 18
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – AJ Brimson (Titans), 2 pts – Josh Curran (Warriors), 1 pt – Greg Marzhew (Titans)
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