The Gold Coast Titans have started the season with a come from behind 24-18 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at Skilled Park in front of a crowd of 16112.
The Warriors got off to the best possible start with two early tries to Manu Vatuvei and Kevin Locke, thanks to the boot of James Maloney. However, the Warriors let the Titans back into the contest through some poor handling. Tries to Joseph Tomane and then Anthony Laffranchi right on halftime gave the home side a sniff, going in to the break behind by 18 points to 12.
Despite the aid of oranges and Gatorade at halftime, both sides came out of the dressing room with grease on their hands, as errors began to creep back into both side's games. It took over twenty minutes, but the Titans finally got back on level terms, thanks to a special effort from winger David Mead.
From a sweeping second man play which started from Scott Prince, the ball ended up with David Mead who tippy-toed down the sideline before scoring with his feet millimetres inside the touchline.
The killer blow came with ten minutes remaining,when Nathan Friend jumped out of dummy half and put a neat little grubber in for Preston Campbell, who took the ball and scored under the posts to put the Titans in front for the first time in the game.
Despite this, the Warriors had their chance to send the game into golden point. The first chance fell to winger Manu Vatuvei who scooped onto a Brett Seymour grubber before losing the ball in a tackle two metres out from the line from a Preston Campbell tackle.
The next chance came with five minutes left on the clock. Five-eighth James Maloney danced through the defence before finding his fullback Lance Hohaia who kicked ahead. However Hohaia was beaten to the ball by Kevin Gordon when he looked like scoring.
The Titans were able to hang on for the victory, despite only completing 26/46 sets of six. The Warriors will get on their plane back to Auckland thinking how they threw the 2 points away at Skilled Park.
Match Details Gold Coast Titans 24 defeated New Zealand Warriors 18 National Rugby League - NRL - Round 1 - Sunday March 14, 2010 2:00pm Venue: Skilled Park Referee: Matt Cecchin and Chris James Video Referee: Phil Cooley Touch Judges: Luke Potter and Adam Devcich Crowd: 16112 Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 12 New Zealand Warriors 18
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Nathan Friend
2 Points - Lance Hohaia
1 Point - Manu Vatuvei (2 Tries)
GOLD COAST TITANS (24)
Tries: Preston Campbell, Anthony Laffranchi, Joseph Tomane, David Mead
Conversions: Scott Prince (4/4)
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (18)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei (2), Kevin Locke
Conversions: Brett Seymour (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast where the Titans will host the Warriors in overcast and wet conditions.
For the Titans, prop Matthew White is out,and he has been replaced by youngstar Bodene Thompson.
For the Warriors,Wade McKinnon drops off the bench, with Joel Moon his replacement.
Michael Luck leads out the Warriors in their heritage all blue strip.Scott Prince leads out the Titans in their all white with a bit of light blue.Your referees are Matt Cecchin and Chris James.
1 min: Kickoff!
3 min: Scott Prince is hit late by James Maloney after his kick downfield,but no penalty is awarded.Prince looks very groggy.
5 min: Titans on the attack but the ball is intercepted by Brent Tate who is tackled 30 out from his own line.
7 min: Brad Meyers puts it down in his own half to put the Warriors deep on the attack.
9 min: TRY
After an inch perfect kick from James Maloney, Manu Vatuvei leaps over Joseph Tomane to score in the corner.
Seymour slots the conversion from the sideline.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
12 min: Greg Bird earns the Titans a repeat set of six with a neat kick into the in-goal area.
14 min: Vatuvei scoops up on a loose ball and runs 70 metres before finding James Maloney who is brought down centimetres from the line.Maloney then loses the ball in the play the ball.
18 min: Greg Bird is penalised whilst in possession for a sloppy play the ball,however on replay he looks to be very unlucky.
22 min: Errors starting to creep into both side's games, with an error here from Ashley Harrison in the play the ball putting the Warriors on the attack.
23 min: Going upstairs for a possible Warriors try..
23 min: TRY
Brett Seymour puts in a crossfield kick for an unmarked Kevin Locke,who only has to catch the ball and fall over to score. Seymour converts to send the Titans supporters silent.
New Zealand Warriors 12-0
26 min: TRY
From a short kickoff, Preston Campbell is able to regain possession for the Titans.Only a few tackles later the ball is spun wide and Tomane is credited with the try from some good lead up work from Nathan Friend.Prince converts from the sideline.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
29 min: Preston Campbell gives the Warriors six more tackles as he can't hang on to a Brett Seymour bomb.
32 min: Back to Back to Back sets of six here for the Warriors.Can the home side hang on?
34 min: Going upstairs for another Warriors try..
34 min: TRY
The Titans finally crack after having to survive six consecutive sets on their goal line.Vatuvei picks up the ball on the bounce before beating two men to score in the corner to send the many Kiwi supporters in the crowd into a frenzy.Seymour slots another kick from the sideline.
New Zealand Warriors 18-6
37 min: David Mead is hit in a bell ringer from Jerome Ropati.
39 min: Titans deep on the attack with less than a minute to go in the half.
40 min: TRY
Following a penalty for a flop on halfway, the Titans go deep on the attack.Scott Prince catches the Warriors defenders off guard, putting Anthony Laffranchi through a huge gap to score an important try right on the siren.Prince converts despite the loud boos from the large Warriors contingent of supporters down the southern end of the ground.
New Zealand Warriors 18-12
40 min: Halftime here at Skilled Park,with a scoreline which flatters the Titans.They don't deserve to still be in the conest after an error riddled first half from Cartwright's boys.
41 min: Titans kick off for the second half.
44 min: Going upstairs for an unlikely Titans try.
44 min: NO TRY - From a kick into the ingoal somehow the Titans get the penalty for a man tackled without the ball,even though it looks like the Warriors deserved the penalty.
45 min: Poetic justice as the Titans knock the ball on, on the first tackle.
47 min: Brent Tate saves a try,knocking the ball dead just before Greg Bird looked like scoring.
48 min: Sam Tagataese gets a miracle offload around the corner but Matty Rogers can't hang on.If he had have caught it he looked like he would have run 15 metres to score.
56 min: The Titans are deep on the attack but Greg Bird puts the ball down from a massive hit from Ben Matulino.
60 min: Warriors are deep on the attack and look certain to extend to their lead but Brent Tate puts the ball down cold to release the pressure on the Titans.
63 min: Going upstairs for a possible Titans try..
64 min: TRY
The Titans score in the corner off the back of a swooping second man play.David Mead tippy toes down the side line and puts the ball over the line with his foot centimetres away from touching the corner post.Prince locks the game up with his kick from the sideline.
68 min: A crowd of 16112 is announced for the match.
71 min: TRY Rochdale Hornets (NL2)
The Warriors gift the Titans possession and Gold Coast take their oppurtunity.Following a run around, Nathan Friend puts a deft little grubber into the in goal area which is taken by Preston Campbell to score under the posts.Prince converts and the Titans are in front for the first time today.
Gold Coast Titans 24-18
74 min: Preston Campbell saves a certain try,stopping Vatuvei after he collected a grubber in the corner.
75 min: Preston Campbell has collapsed in back play and has gone off with what appears to be concussion.
78 min: James Maloney breaks through for the Warriors,finds Lance Hohaia who goes through kicks for himself and looks certain to score before the ball is knocked dead by Kevin Gordon.Warriors on the attack!
78 min: Manu Vatuvei goes on a run but drops the ball in the tackle 20metres out from the line.
79 min: Luke Bailey knocks on,giving the Warriors a scrum 45metres out from the line with 1minute and 4 seconds on the clock.
80 min: Sam Rapira loses the ball on the second tackle to sum up their second half performance.
80 min: Fulltime here at Skilled Park with the Titans hanging on for a six point victory in an error riddled performance.The Titans have come away with a victory despite only completing 26/46 sets of six.