An emphatic 42-0 win wasn't enough for the New Zealand Warriors to creep into the top eight today, the home side smashing the Gold Coast Titans at Mt Smart Stadium in front of 13,000 fans.
Needing a 50-point victory to jump over the Brisbane Broncos into the top eight, the Warriors started in sublime fashion, racing the clock for much of the first part of the match to be up 18-0 after as many minutes. Tries to Ben Henry, Dominique Peyroux and Nathan Friend had the hosts dominating early. Shaun Johnson's pinpoint boot helped the cause.
Sam Tomkins and Konrad Hurrell were next on the board after the Warriors withstood a Titans' momentum shift, which pushed the home side to 30-0 before the halftime break.
The second half started in much the same way as the first - poor retention by the Titans gifting the Warriors field position - they capitalised with Johnson nabbing a try before Tomkins bagged his second. Seven from seven for Johnson had the Warriors up 42-0 with half an hour left.
The score stayed that way for the duration despite both sides attempting some enterprising footy - the home side unable to get across the 50-point mark which would've seen them in the top eight with a week to play.
Speaking of next week, the Warriors have a Sunday night showdown with the Penrith Panthers at Sportingbet Stadium, which kicks off at 8:30pm NZ Time (6:30pm AEST). It's a must win for the Warriors who will then be hoping other results have fallen their way in the lead-up. The Titans on the other hand head home for one last match against Canterbury next Sunday afternoon before looking toward 2015.