The New Zealand Warriors have held out a fast-finishing Gold Coast Titans to record their second victory of the 2013 season, 25-24 at Mt Smart Stadium this afternoon.
With strong wind and rainy conditions setting the scene, the home side made sure they took advantage of the weather in the first half, with two early tries. Manu Vatuvei put in a strong early performance, scoring the first in the corner before inadvertently setting up the second for second-rower Feleti Mateo.
It wasn't long before the Titans showed their class out wide, with Jamal Idris opening his side's account with a powerful wide run. Shortly before halftime the Warriors struck back again, Ben Henry setting up Bill Tupou.
Up 16-6, the Warriors overcame a rusty start to the second half to extend the lead to 24-6 with two tries, including a controversial tap-forward effort from halfback Shaun Johnson.
From here, it was down the Warriors famous ability to lose unloseable games in the final twenty minutes. The Titans found a second wind and put on two tries to close the gap to six with Idris bagging his second and Zillman also scoring a great four-pointer, but it was to be the Warriors day, working into a safe position late in the match for Johnson to nail a field goal.
The seven point buffer ultimately saved the hosts, with Anthony Don scoring for the Titans on fulltime.
Next week will see the Warriors transfer a home game south to the national capital, Wellington. The Bulldogs are the visiting side. The Titans will head home to host St George Illawarra at Skilled Park.