Buoyed by a come-from-behind win over the Broncos, the New Zealand Warriors faced a Gold Coast Titans side that failed to play out the 80 minutes last weekend, with both sides looking to move away from the bottom of the ladder.
The return of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was certainly a bonus for the Warriors, and he showed them just how good he is, as he picked up the ball at first receiver at the scrum, stepped past Beau Fermor, and through the tackle of Ash Taylor to score.
Just minutes later, the visitors had another chance to score and duly delivered.
The ball was spread left to Peta Hiku, who offloaded out of a two-man tackle to Ken Maumalo who walked over in the corner.
Despite a poor start, the Titans began to work themselves back into the game.
Just after to 15th minute, Ash Taylor threw a cut-out pass to Treymain Spry, who looked to power over in the corner on debut.
However, the Warriors managed to cover across and bundle the winger over the touchline.
With Adam Fogarty’s high kick was fumbled by David Fusitu’a, the Titans pushed the ball right out to Anthony Don, and after twisting through Blake Green, the winger stretched to the try-line and scored.
With 15 minutes to go until the break, the ball found Beau Fermor on the left-hand edge, and the big second-rower turned centre looked to bundle his way over, but unfortunately was held up.
Five minutes later, the Titans were attempting to come away from their own half, and the ball came loose.
This allowed Jack Hetherington to race Jamal Fogarty to the ball with the Warriors forward winning the race.
However, Hetherington was deemed to have interfered with the half-back and the try was disallowed.
HALF-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 6-12 New Zealand Warriors
With both sides starting the second half quite slowly, it was always going to take one individual moment, either of brilliance or embarrassment would spark the game back into life.
It turned out to be the former, as Ash Taylor’s kick along the floor was flung buck inside the in-goal area miraculously by Tyrone Peachey, and Sam Stone was the quickest to react and grounded the ball for his first try as a Titan.
After a tight 15-minute spell, both sides were searching for a way over the line to take control of the game.
With 12 minutes remaining, the Titans won a repeat set inside the Warriors ten-metre line, but unfortunately, Jaimin Joliffe dropped the ball in the tackle by Karl Lawton to let the visitors off the hook.
As the game came towards a close, the Titans were in the ascendency, and the Warriors were visible tiring.
Ash Taylor once again kicked the ball along the floor, and Blake Green failed to deal with it as his tap out the back of the in-goal was claimed by Beau Fermor and the young centre grounded the ball for a try to take the lead.
With just four minutes remaining, it was now the Warriors time to get back into the game.
Jamal Fogarty put an end to that idea though, as his booming 40/20 kick put the Gold Coast deep inside the Warriors half.
This was then backed up by a goal-line drop-out.
The Warriors claimed the ball from the drop-out, and had 30 seconds to score,
Unfortunately, with just seconds remaining, Fotuaiakaa managed to stop the Warriors and the game belonged to the Titans.
FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 16-12 New Zealand Warriors
Gold Coast Titans
Thompson, Don, Fermor, Cartwright, Spry, Taylor, Fogarty, Fatuaika, Clark, Joliffe, Stone, Hipgrave, Arrow
Interchanges: Boyd, Lisone, Peachey, Wallace
Tries: Don, Stone, Fermor
Goals: Taylor (2/3)
New Zealand Warriors
Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Herbert, Hiku, Maumalo, Harris-Tevita, Green, Taunoa-Brown, Egan, Blair, Murchie, Lawton, Harris
Interchanges: Paasi, Hetherington, Papali’i. Tevaga
Tries: Tuivasa-Sheck, Maumalo
Goals: Harris-Tevita (2/2)
Referee: C. Butler
Touch Judges: K. Badger, H. Perenara
Video Referee: B. Lowe
Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)