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2 days ago
The Warriors have recorded back-to-back victories to start a season for the first time since 2008, as they put away the Titans 20-8 in front of 14,132 fans at Mt Smart Stadium tonight.
Following their round one victory, quite a few got swept up in the Warriors hype, but unlike most times, the Kiwi side showed some touches of class from their spine with some masterful puppetry from Shaun Johnson to start 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
Much is always said about the Warriors attack, while it sparkled in patches tonight - particularly the slick inside-out play for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to cross. The defensive effort against a game Titans side, will impress Stephen Kearney more. They only let in a late Anthony Don consolation, but otherwise were flawless.
On attack, at times, it looked like prime time Warriors. The ball movement and offloads (28 compared to the Titans 10) showed that when it clicks, they will blow away teams this season.
The additions of Tohu Harris and Blake Green has helped to ease the pressure on Johnson.
Harris laid on a sublime ball to put David Fusitua in for the first then Green played the link man well, as he, Johnson and Tuivasa-Sheck combined for the latter to shoot through the defense for a 12-2 halftime lead.
Gold Coast battled bravely, and had three efforts chalked off from the video referee but without Ash Taylor, who pulled out earlier this week, the attack was stifled with Bryce Cartwright, while a talented ball-player, not a playmaker at this point. Kane Elgey tried to spark something but the defense from the Warriors was magnificent tonight.
The reward for the Warriors defense, was some breathtaking pieces of play and a pair of tries in the second half. Fusitua leapt highest for his double after Solomone Kata extended the lead through some simple bodies in motion play.
Anthony Don prevented the Titans from going try-less as he latched onto a Konrad Hurrell kick in the 78th minute to breach the Warriors defense.
Next week the Warriors head to the Australian capital to face the Raiders at GIO Stadium, while the Titans have their first "on the road" home game of the Commonwealth Games period (locking them out of Cbus Super Stadium), hosting the Dragons on Sunday at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba.
Warriors 20 - Gold Coast Titans 8
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Halftime Score: Warriors 12 Gold Coast Titans 2
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Shaun Johnson
2 points - Roger Tuivasa-sheck
1 points - David Fusitua
Tries: David Fusitua (2), Roger Tuivasa-sheck, Solomone Kata
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (2/4)
GOLD COAST TITANS (8)
Tries: Anthony Don
Conversions: Michael Gordon (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Michael Gordon (1/1)