Glittering Gold Coast neuter New Zealand

In front of a near-capacity crowd of 27,026 fans at Skilled Park, the Gold Coast Titans have defeated the New Zealand Warriors 28-16, ensuring a nervous wait over the course of the weekend for the visitors.

The 2010 finals series was just seven minutes old and the Warriors got themselves on the scoreboard with their first foray into Titans territory. Some awareness of his teammates around him saw Brent Tate throw a speculative flick-pass out the back which was gleefully accepted by hooker Aaron Heremaia who dived between two Titans defenders to score alongside the posts. Unfortunately for the Warriors, that would be as good as it would get for the first half as both teams continued to complete their sets and get to their kicks. The Titans levelled the scores in the 18th minute through stand-in fullback William Zillman. Halfback Scott Prince ran to the line on the fifth tackle, before weighting a perfect grubber kick into the in-goal which appeared to be certain to head over the deadball line. Zillman chased to the end and managed to force the ball half a metre in from the deadball line in a truly remarkable try. A Titans blitzkrieg then saw them score three tries in the space of nine minutes to race out to an impressive 22-6 lead at the halftime break. Zillman would score his second try, busting out of a few feeble attempted tackles, while Jordan Atkins, replacing Zillman on the wing in the absence of Preston Campbell, batted back a Prince bomb to the corner as Clinton Toopi put his name on the scoresheet. Arguably the best try of the half came with a quick shift from Prince to Bird, who passed back on the inside to Rogers, who sliced through the Warriors defence as it was too slow sliding across to prevent the soon-to-be retired five-eighth extending the Titans lead at the break.

The home side would extend their lead to three converted tries moments into the second half when halfback Prince landed a successful penalty goal. Gold Coast appeared to then go into their shell as they looked to protect their lead, but in the process offered several invitations back into the game for the Warriors. Two tries in 10 minutes closed the gap to just eight points, after Joel Moon and runaway winger Manu Vatuvei scored tries to give their side hope heading into the final quarter of the match. The Titans would then put the result beyond doubt 15 minutes from fulltime through winger Kevin Gordon. Halfback Scott Prince and five-eighth Mat Rogers combined beautifully with a second-man play, prior to Rogers' pass being scooped up brilliantly by centre Steve Michaels. Gordon then took advantage of Michael's heading back in-field, before delivering a perfectly timed pass to the winger who did the rest. The 28-16 scoreline would remain that way until fulltime, despite some razzle-dazzle by the Warriors as they attempted to close the deficit.

The Titans now progress to either week two or three, whereas the Warriors now have a nervous wait to find out if their 2010 season is over, or if they get a second chance next weekend.



Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 28 defeated New Zealand Warriors 16
National Rugby League - Finals Week 1 - Friday September 10, 2010 7:45pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referee: Tony Archer and Gavin Badger
Video Referee: Bill Harrigan
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Russell Turner
Crowd: 27026
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 22 New Zealand Warriors 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - William Zillman (2 Tries)
2 Points - Scott Prince (3 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)
1 Point - Aaron Heremaia (1 Try)

GOLD COAST TITANS (28)
Tries: Clinton Toopi, Mat Rogers, William Zillman (2), Kevin Gordon
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Scott Prince (1/1)

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (16)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei, Joel Moon, Aaron Heremaia
Conversions: James Maloney (2/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary And a very good evening and welcome to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast for tonight's first of the semi-final series matches for season 2010. In team news, for the Warriors Jerome Ropati is out. Joel Moon moves into the starting side in the centres, while Mara is also out, meaning Sione Lousi moves onto the bench.
For the home side, Preston Campbell is out. William Zillman switches to fullback and Jordan Atkins comes onto the wing. Kick-off is scheduled for a little after 7.40pm.
In the Toyota Cup curtain raiser, the Minor Premiers, Souths, overcame an early 18-6 deficit to run-down the Gold Coast side 24-22, meaning the Titans are eliminated for season 2010.
1 min: And the finals for 2010 are underway! The Warriors get us started and the Titans will have first use of the ball, defending the northern end of Skilled Park.
1 min: The Warriors charge down Mat Rogers' kick and in amongst the fireworks the Titans get a repeat set.
2 min: Some excellent scrambling defence from the Warriors sees the Titans throw the ball around on the last tackle, but the defence held firm and the Warriors get their first use.
4 min: Great defence from James Maloney! The kick from Maloney was picked up by Gordon who took off down the eastern sideline and headed for the tryline, but somehow Maloney picked him up, and threw him into touch.
4 min: PENALTY Warriors. Three-man steal awarded against the Titans.
6 min: Seymour's grubber into the in-goal is eventually picked up by Atkins, despite a little juggle by the Titans winger. Goal-line dropout Titans.
7 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Aaron Heremaia. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
The Warriors get us going for the finals in 2010! Brent Tate headed in-field, looking for some sloppy defence and threw a flick-pass out the back and Heremaia gleefully accepted the pass and dived in between two Titans defenders to open the scoring tonight.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
10 min: Maloney's kick on the fifth tackle bounces half a metre inside the sideline and the Titans will feed a scrum 10m out from their own line.
14 min: Some excellent defence by the Warriors jolts the ball loose of Rogers' grasp and the New Zealander's now go on the attack.
15 min: Maloney's cross-field kick is batted back by Locke, but Tate knocks the ball on, before bundling Michaels into touch. No advantage though, so the Titans will feed the scrum.
16 min: PENALTY Titans. Markers not square and the Titans will get their first real attacking opportunity of the match.
17 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Titans try. Checking onside and grounding.
18 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by William Zillman. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
Zillman scores a truly remarkable try! Prince drew the Warriors defence, before grubbering in behind, using the inside of his foot and the ball skewed along the deadball line, before Zillman swooped and forced the ball half a metre in from the deadball line.
6 all
21 min: Vatuvei forces the pass which is scooped up by Prince and the Titans again go on the attack.
22 min: Zillman can't quite handle Prince's pass, which would have seen him score untouched. The Warriors work the ball upfield.
24 min: PENALTY Titans. Hohaia has a second attempt as he slows the play-the-ball down.
26 min: Rogers dribbles a grubber into the in-goal. Dropout Warriors.
27 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Titans try. Checking on-side, bat-back and grounding.
27 min: TRY Workington Town (NL2)
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Clinton Toopi. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
The Titans put their noses in front! Prince kicked for Atkins on the right wing, who knocked the ball back into the arms of his centre partner Clinton Toopi, who burrowed under two Warriors defenders and scored a few metres in from the western touchline.
Gold Coast Titans 12-6
31 min: Knock-on Warriors. Matulino tries to play the ball too quickly, and loses the ball clean.
31 min: PENALTY Titans. Warriors strip the ball with more than one in the tackle.
32 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Titans try. Not sure what they're checking ...
32 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by William Zillman. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.
Zillman extends the Titans lead! Some very sloppy defence by the Warriors lets the Titans fullback bust out of the tackle and score alongside the posts.
Gold Coast Titans 18-6
35 min: Some drama here at Skilled Park! Kevin Locke has lost the ball in a solid four-man tackle, and then Rogers picks the ball up and scores alongside the posts, but referee Archer has ruled that he called held before the ball came out, so a scrum will be awarded with a Titans feed.
36 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Mat Rogers. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful.
Absolutely brilliant try by the Titans! Some clever passing from Prince to Bird, before Bird threw the pass "against the grain" of the defence coming across and Rogers scores alongside the posts.
Gold Coast Titans 22-6
38 min: The Titans have lost the ball on just the second tackle, so the Warriors will get one of a very few chances at closing the deficit before the break.
39 min: Ta'ai has lost the ball trying to promote it and get the pass to Locke out on the wing.
40 min: Halftime here at Skilled Park where the Titans lead the Warriors 22-6.
40 min: The second half is underway and the Warriors will get first touch of the ball.
41 min: An attempted 40/20 by Maloney sees Zillman get across just in time to throw the ball back into the arms of winger Kevin Gordon.
42 min: Rogers kick downfield is picked up by Hohaia, but some driving defence by the Titans sees the ball spill loose. An early chance for the Titans to perhaps extend their lead even further.
43 min: PENALTY Titans. White has lost the ball, but the referees have ruled the ball was stripped illegally.
43 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Gold Coast Titans
Penalty goal attempt by Scott Prince successful.
Prince extends the Titans lead out to three converted tries.
Gold Coast Titans 24-6
47 min: Zillman's first blemish on his night has seen him drop a towering bomb and gives the Warriors a chance at scoring another try.
48 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Joel Moon. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
Moon scores out wide for the Warriors! Hohaia held up the pass and delivered it at the perfect time to see Moon and the Warriors close the gap to 12 points after Maloney's sideline conversion.
Gold Coast Titans 24-12
51 min: PENALTY Warriors. High tackle Titans and Bird is marched another 10 metres for backchat. The Warriors are a chance here.
52 min: Gordon knocks on Maloney's cross-field bomb and then throws the ball over the touch in-goal line. Titans dropout.
53 min: Maloney's grubber kick is perfectly scooped up by Michaels and the Titans breathe a sigh of relief as they work the ball towards their kick and away from their own goal-line.
54 min: Rogers' kick on the fifth tackle sails out on the full.
55 min: Seymour's grubber towards the posts dribbles over the deadball line and the Titans get a free walk to their 20m line.
58 min: Knock-on Titans. The Warriors continue to get offered back into the game by the Titans inability to complete their sets and the good field position they are being gifted. Warriors scrum on halfway.
59 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Manu Vatuvei. Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
Vatuvei scores the Warriors third try! The Best received the pass from his centre partner and was always going to take a tonne of stopping. The four Titans defenders that scrambled across could not stop him. Maloney's conversion from the sideline hits the post.
Gold Coast Titans 24-16
63 min: Zillman swoops on a loose pass just by showing more desperation to get the ball as his team appear to be trying to hang onto their lead.
64 min: Vatuvei throws a speculator on just the first tackle which goes into touch. The Titans get their first real opportunity of the half in an attacking position.
65 min: TRY
TRY Gold Coast Titans
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful.
The Titans score their first try of the second half and perhaps gets them home for tonight! Prince second man play to Rogers, who threw the pass to Michaels. Michaels picked up the pass around his ankles, stepped off his right foot, before delivering a perfectly timed pass to Gordon who scored out wide.
Gold Coast Titans 28-16
69 min: Goal-line dropout Titans.
71 min: The Warriors loose pass is let go by Mannering, which takes Tate by surprise, before he knocks the ball on. As the Titans work the ball upfield, Bailey knocks the ball on.
72 min: The Titans defence holds firm as the Warriors know time is running out and throw the ball around.
74 min: Knock-on Warriors. Mannering attempts to milk the penalty by coming up without the ball, but referee Archer is not fooled and rules a scrum.
78 min: Zillman has ruled to have had a foot on the sideline, although replays suggest the touch judge got the call wrong. Warriors scrum feed.
78 min: Knock-on Warriors. Perhaps some justice prevails and the Titans survive tonight and now have a wait to see if they will progress to week two or three.
80 min: Fulltime here at Skilled Park where the Titans have defeated the Warriors 28-16.

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