Fancy Warriors send Titans packing

A depleted Gold Coast Titans side showed real grit to only go down by 8 points to the Warriors, 24-16, at CBUS Super Stadium tonight. The lead changed a number of times in the first half with both sides playing an entertaining brand of footy that should leave the home crowd with at least some satisfaction. Both sides began enthusiastically with back to back sets and it was the Warriors Prop Ben Matulino who opened the scoring for the third game in succession after strolling through a yawning gap, well exploited by Chad Townsend. The Titans, who were without first-choice halves Albert Kelly and Aidan Sezer opened their account through a scheming Maurice Blair who sent a grubber through at an uncomfortable height for Sam Tomkins. Tomkins couldn't handle and it was Dave Taylor touching down to even up the scores. The next try, arguably the best of the game, involved rookie David Fusitua who took the defence on inside his own half and offloaded superbly to Shaun Johnson. Johnson still had a mountain of work to do, though, as is his wont, he made the 60 metre dash around the fullback Zillman look easy.

The rest of the half was a see-sawing contest, with a heavy penalty count favouring the home side 6-1. Tries to Dave Taylor (28th minute), Fusitua (37th minute) and a 40th minute hat trick touch down to the ‘Coal Train' meant that the Titans went to the break leading 16-14.

Inevitably, the penalties started flowing to the Warriors in the second stanza, and while most were due, it must get a bit much for fans to know that the ‘square-up' will most likely happen in the second half. The Warriors took full advantage in the 46th minute with a try to Simon Mannering, who showed his experience and strength to just get the ball over the line despite the attentions of a number of Titans defenders. Ben Matulino and Manu Vatuvei kept the Warriors on the front foot, their charges early in the Warriors sets ensuring the Titans were backpedalling. At one stage the Warriors had five consecutive sets on the Titans line. The Titans showed real ticker to hold out the Warriors until the 62nd minute when Konrad Hurrell showed off his renowned strength to offload for his winger Fusitua's second ‘bit of meat' in the right corner. The Warriors had the Lion's share of possession and territory in the final 15 minutes, though the weary Titans sideheld them out again and again. The final score of 24-16 to the Warriors sees the Kiwis record their seventh straight in the W column, and they will head into their next round clash at Mt. Smart against the struggling Knights brimming with confidence. For the Titans, Coach Cartwright will be full of admiration for his team's showing tonight, though the loss does mean that they will most likely drop out of the eight, after leading the completion not too long ago. The Titans will have a much needed rest with a bye in round 12.  

Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 16 New Zealand Warriors 24
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium
Crowd: 18753
Halftime Score: Gold Coast Titans 16 New Zealand Warriors 14 Players of the Match:
3 points - Ben Matulino
2 points - Dave Taylor
1 point - Manu Vatuvei

Tries: Dave Taylor (3)
Field Goals:
Conversions: Beau Henry (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Beau Henry (1/1)

Tries: Ben Matulino, Shaun Johnson, David Fusitua (2), Simon Mannering
Field Goals:
Conversions: Chad Townsend (2/5)
Penalty Goals: Live Commentary

Good afternoon to you all and welcome to our live coverage of the 11th round clash between the Gold Coast Titans and the New Zealand Warriors at CBUS Super Stadium in Robina. It's a perfect day for footy, sunny and 21 degrees with not much wind to speak of. No excuses not to get out to the game you Titans fans, but for those of you who can't get to the game or haven't got Foxtel, I'm glad you've joined us here at LU. My name is Luke Wenitong and I'll be back just before kickoff with final team lists.

Team Lists: For the home side, Ben Ridge will start, pushing Mark Minichiello to the bench, while Brad Takairangi is out, replaced by Brad Tighe in jersey 20. The Warriors have one change, with Kevin Locke succumbing to an ankle injury. He is replaced by rookie David Fusitua.

Teams coming onto CBUS. Let's get it on!!!

Warriors kick off and we're underway!

2: PENALTY - Titans. Warriors pinged for a dodgy looking strip call. Poor effort from the Ref there. HANG ON, another PENALTY to the Titans for a strip!! What's going on.

3: Beau Henry grubbers on the last and regathers after a Warrior touched it. 6 to go, Titans.

3: Kalifa Faifai Loa goes over in the left corner, but it's called forward. Warriors scrum on their own 10 metre line.

6: Simon Mannering knocks on from a Ben Matulino offload on half way, the Warriors look to be in the mood tonight, with a number of offloads already.

8: Big Manu has done well with both touches tonight, he takes a cross field kick above his head to defuse the Titans attack.

8: PENALTY - Warriors. Titans inside the 10. Warriors to start their set on half way.

10: Dropout Titans. The Beast knocked a cross field kick back and the Titans knock it over the dead ball. Konrad Hurrell made a ridiculously strong run to set that up. He just 'blew' through the gap, no-one knew where he was 'heading' Konny..

Scored by Ben Matulino. Kick to come.

Chad Townsend held the play up nicely and Ben Matulino strolls through a huge gap to open the scoring. Looked easy for the Warriors.

Conversion attempt by Chad Townsend unsuccessful.

Townsend misses to the left.

14: The Warriors run it on the last and Fai Fai Loa can't handle the resulting grubber. Scrum feed to Warriors 30 metres from the Titans line.

16: Terrible 1st tackle play from the Warriors, they went wide right to Hurrell who gave his young winger no chance of staying inside the white line. Scrum feed Titans on their own line.

18: Penalty - Titans. Shaun Johnson holding on too long in the tackle.

19: VIDEO REF. Possible Titans try to Dave Taylor. On field ref says try.

Scored by Dave Taylor. Kick to come.

Maurice Blair gets the Try Assist with a tricky grubber that Sam Tomkins couldn't handle. The Coal Train was there to take advantage in the left corner.

Conversion attempt by Beau Henry successful.

Lovely conversion from Beau Henry.

Scored by Shaun Johnson. Kick to come.

Champagne football!!!!! Fusitua ran to the line inside his own half and offloaded to Johnson who ran 55 metres and around the fullback Zillman to touch down to the left of the uprights..

Conversion attempt by Chad Townsend successful.

That's a better place kick from Townsend.

24: Injury update: Beau Falloon could be out for the rest of the game with a back injury.

Kalifa Faifai Loa makes an unforced error.

Fai Fai Loa is ruled to have lost it in the tackle. Looked to be interference by the Warriors. Warriors with the scrum feed, though AGAIN they lose it on the first tackle.

26: Penalty - Titans. And the Warriors compound it with a play the ball infringement.

27: Luke Bailey can't hold the pill and the pressure is released. Warriors scrum feed on their own 10.

28: Ben Henry tries a ridiculous offload inside his own 20. Titans have it now. That's a coach killer.

28: VIDEO REF. Possible second try to Dave Taylor. On field Ref says Try.

Scored by Dave Taylor. Kick to come.

Dave Taylor shows his strength to barge over for his second. Awesome stuff from the Central Queenslander.

Conversion attempt by Beau Henry unsuccessful.

Henry misses the conversion to the right.

32: Penalty - Titans. Warriors inside the 10. Titans to start their set inside the Warriors half. Penalty count 5-1 to the Titans.

33: Titans get a scrum and 6 more after the Warriors can't handle a Beau Henry grubber.

34: Penalty - Titans. Matt Srama takes advantage of some offside marker play. Titans with another set on the Warriors line.

35: David Mead loses the ball in the tackle. Pressure taken down as Whispering Jack would say.. (Am i showing my age or what)

36: Penalty - Warriors. Titans offside.

Scored by David Fusitua. Kick to come.

Try in the right corner to Fusitua. The pickup and pass from Konny Hurrell was outstanding.

Conversion attempt by Chad Townsend unsuccessful.

Townsend can't add the extras with an ordinary slice left.

Scored by Dave Taylor. Kick to come.

HAT TRICK to the Coal Train!! The Warriors with an attacking kick that is charged down by Paul Carter who hasn't got the pace. The ensuing play wide to the left sees Taylor dummy and run through a few defenders to touch it down.

Penalty goal attempt by Beau Henry successful.

Just inside the right stick!

40: HALF TIME: Gold Coast Titans lead the New Zealand Warriors 16-14.

40: Teams making their way back out. I hope the second half is as end to end as the first!

41: Titans kick off and we're back underway.

41: The Warriors go 100 metres in the first set after the break, but lose it on the last.

44: Penalty - Warriors. Titans holding on too long in the ruck.

45: Anthony Don saves a try by knocking down a winger-bound ball. Warriors to start the set from close range.

46: VIDEO REF. Possible Warriors try to Mannering. On field Ref says no try.

Scored by Simon Mannering. Kick to come.

After a thousand replays, Mannering is awarded the try. Good strength shown by the NZ skipper.

Conversion attempt by Chad Townsend successful.

Too easy for Townsend.

48: Beau Falloon won't be back with his lower back injury.

48: Penalty - Warriors. Titans inside the 10. Lovely Mateo offload set up a mini-break which was rewarded with the penalty.

50: Penalty - Warriors. Titans inside the 10 yet again. Manu is dominating the Titans with his hitups!!

51: Shaun Johnson ran behind one of his team mates and the Titans are awarded the penalty which will see them start a set just inside their own half.

55: Dave Taylor loses it in the tackle. The 'Axe', Trevor Gillmeister has sprayed the Ref after that call...

58: Penalty - Warriors. Tomkins took a great high ball and was subsequently smashed. The Titans chasers were inside the 10 though.

58: Titans dropout. Shaun Johnson grubbered and Zillman easily defused it.

61: Another dropout for the Titans. This time it was Townsend with the grubber, defused by Anthony Don.

62: VIDEO REF. Possible Warriors try to Fusitua in the right corner. On field ref says try.

Scored by David Fusitua. Kick to come.

Konrad Hurrell set that one up with bumping, bruising run then an offload to his winger who dove over in the corner.

Conversion attempt by Chad Townsend unsuccessful.

Townsend can't add the extras from touch.

Sam Tomkins makes an unforced error.

The Englishman loses it with no-one around him. Titans to start their set on half way.

67: Shaun Johnson settles his side down with a last tackle kick to touch. Titans scrum feed 30 metres from their own line.

68: WOW. The Warriors pushed in the scrum which forced a knock on from the Titans. Warriors heavy on attack now. Can they ice the game?

69: Line dropout Titans. Johnson showing his experience and not rushing things.

71: Johnson kicks too deep, Mead takes it on the full and rushes back for the 20 metre tap.

72: Titans can't do anything with their set, and it's a handover which means the Warriors to start their set on their own line.

74: Scrum feed to Warriors 10 metres from the Titans line after Mead spills a bomb.

74: Penalty - Warriors. Titans infringe in the ruck.

76: Big Manu can't take a cross field kick to finish the Titans off and the home side will start their set on their own 10.

76: Shaun Johnson is limping.

76: Great defensive effort from the Titans tonight, win or lose.

77: The Coal Train tries a hail Mary out wide to his winger and it floats forward to no-one and over the sideline.

77: Hurrell knocks on in the tackle. The Titans will start on their 10. One last hurrah coming up.

77: Penalty - Titans. Mateo with a hand on the ball.

78: Titans lose it around half way. Warriors have it and that should be the game.

80: Thanks for joining us this evening, what a great spectacle out there tonight. Do join us at shortly for the Match Review.