Warriors trounce Titans for first home win of 2012

THE New Zealand Warriors have trounced the Gold Coast Titans 26-6 in front of a vocal 12,915 crowd at Mt Smart Stadium this evening.

The Warriors took control of the match early, with halfback Shaun Johnson's boot keeping the pressure on the opposition.

Johnson's pinpoint accurate kicking game which created a try for Elijah Taylor in the 10th minute. James Maloney added the extras to give his side a six-point lead.

Scott Prince's kicking game was not as effective for his side. The Titans' halfback sent two kicks out on the full in the opening 15 minutes, providing the Warriors with great attacking opportunities.  

The Warriors looked to have extended their lead in the 19th minute, with Manu Vatuvei diving over in the left corner, however, replays revealed that Vatuvei's elbow hit the sideline a microsecond before the ball was grounded. 

Despite a spate of possession and some excellent defence, it was not until the 32nd minute that the Warriors added to their total. This time Johnson combined with Kevin Locke to set Vatuvei up for a four-pointer. 

With only a minute left before the break the Titans looked set to hitback after Prince found some space 30 meters out from the Warriors line. 

Prince chipped the ball down field for Dominique Payroux who failed to get a hold of it, Johnson was there to scoop up the loose ball for the Warriors and run it back to halfway where he found Vatuvei who gained 35 meters before being tackled.  

Johnson was there in dummy half and scored off the opportunity he created, giving the Warriors a 14-point lead heading into the break.

The Warriors were given a chance to go on the attack early in the second half after the Titans conceded a penalty in the first play, however a knock on from Maloney on halfway brought some relief for the Titans. 

Maloney redeemed himself in the 49th minute, the Bondi-bound five-eighth busted through the Titans defence setting up an opportunity for Simon Mannerring to score in his 150th match for the Warriors. 

Maloney was the hero again when he kicked a 40/20 in the 56th minute, however a knock-on from Feleti Mateo saw the opportunity go begging.

In the 68th minute Shaun Johnson proved he can score tries as well as he creates them by taking an intercept and racing 40 meters to score. 

The Warriors looked set to hold the Titans to a nil scoreline with only five minutes left in the match, but a late try to Luke O'Dwyer brought some respectability to the scoreline. 

Match Details
New Zealand Warriors 26 defeated Gold Coast Titans 6
National Rugby League - Round 4 - Saturday March 24, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Referee: Jared Maxwell and Gavin Morris
Video Referee: Paul Mellor
Touch Judges: Dave Abood and Jason Walsh
Crowd:  12,915 
Halftime: New Zealand Warriors 14 Gold Coast Titans 0

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Shaun Johnson (2 Tries)
2 Points - Ben Henry
1 Point - James Maloney (3 Conversions)

Tries: Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Elijah Taylor, Shaun Johnson (2)
Conversions: James Maloney (3/5)

Tries: Luke O'Dwyer
Conversions: Scott Prince (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag = #NRLwargld.

You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here. Good evening Rugby League fans and welcome to Mt Smart Stadium where last year's grand finalists the New Zealand Warriors, take on the Gold Coast Titans.

In the Toyota Cup here tonight, the New Zealand Warriors trounced the Gold Coast Titans 30-6.
Gold Coast Titans' coach John Cartwright has announced a few late changes to his side for tonight. Jordan Rankin, Beau Champion and Kayne Lawton are all out of the side. Greg Bird will move to five-eighth with Luke Douglas coming off the bench and into the starting side, and Kevin Gordon returning from injury to cover for Champion. 18th man Brenton Lawrence and Luke O'Dwyer join the bench.
The Warriors' line up is unchanged.
1 min: Maxwell blows time on to bring the match under way.
2 min: Both sides get through their first sets with out any trouble.
4 min: Scott Prince's kick goes out on the full and the Warriors will get the ball on halfway. Lewis Brown was there to put pressure on Prince again.
5 min: The Warriors will get another shot at the Titans' line.
6 min: Ropati is tackled over the right touchline and the Titans are off the hook.
8 min: The Titans receive a relieving penalty and will take the tap 12 meters into the Warriors' half.
9 min: Prince grubbers into the in goal and Kevin Locke is there to clean it up, he dodges and weaves his way out of the in goal. The Warriors then receive a penalty.
10 min: Possible try to Elijah Taylor for the Warriors here.
12 min: TRY
TRY! Shaun Johnson goes to the air and Kevin Locke is there to bat the ball back into the arms of Elijah Taylor who dives over to score. James Maloney is successful with the conversion.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
13 min: Scott Prince's kickoff is out on the full.
14 min: Sione Lousi loses the ball only a few meters out from the Titans' line.
15 min: Maloney's kick is too much for Dominique Peyroux who knocks it on handing possession back to the Warriors only 10 meters out from the Titans' line.
16 min: Ben Matulino is put into space by Elijah Taylor but knocks on. It was only the second tackle too.
18 min: Ashley Harrison loses the ball 30 out from his own line.
19 min: Possible try to Manu Vatuvai here. The ref just needs to make sure Manu's elbow didn't hit the chalk before the ball was grounded.
19 min: No try! Manu's elbow went over the sideline before the ball was grounded. It looked almost simultaneous.
21 min: The Titans lose the ball again, this time Luke Baily was the offender.
22 min: Vatuvei loses the ball ten meters into the Titans' half.
23 min: Warriors are pinned for being offside 40 out from their own line.
25 min: Mark Minichiello is hammered in a tackle by Ben Henry and loses the ball forward. A real let off for the Warriors there.
28 min: Vatuvei cannot handle a terrible pass from Russell Packer and the Titans will get the ball 30 meters out from the Warriors' line.
29 min: Maloney comes up with the ball after Prince goes to the air on the last. The Warriors goal line defence has been very solid.
31 min: The Titans lose the ball 30 out from their own line and the Warriors will go on the attack.
33 min: TRY
TRY! Johnson throws a brilliant cut out pass to Kevin Locke who passes to Vatuvei who strolls over for a try. Maloney's kick from the left touchline is way off.
New Zealand Warriors 10-0
35 min: Jerome Ropati is pinned for a high shot on William Zillman and the Titans will get a chance to go right on the attack before the break.
36 min: Prince's kick into the in goal goes dead and the Warriors will take it back to the 20 meter line for a restart.
40 min: TRY
TRY! Shaun Johnson scores for the Warriors after some crazy play. It all started when Prince found space 30 meters out from the Warriors' line. Prince kicked to the corner and Johnson got to the ball before any Titans' chasers had a chance. Johnson found Vatuvei who raced down the sideline before being chased down by the Titans' defence, 10 out from the Titans' line. Johnson gets the ball from dummy half and puts on the speed to beat the Titans' defence and score. Maloney misses the conversion.
New Zealand Warriors 14-0
41 min: The Warriors receive a penalty on the first play of the half.
42 min: Maloney loses the ball on halfway.
43 min: The Titans will get another set at the Warriors after Kevin Locke got a touch to the ball.
43 min: Ben Henry saves the day for the Warriors with some great goal line defence.
44 min: Kevin Gordon loses the ball after receiving a terrible pass from Scott Prince.
48 min: The Warriors have the ball on halfway after some poor ball handling from the Titans.
50 min: TRY
TRY! James Maloney busts through the Titans' defence before being tackled 15 meters out. A quick play the ball allows the Warriors to take advantage of it. Ropati offloads to Mannering who score. Maloney's shot at goal is successful.
New Zealand Warriors 20-0
53 min: Johnson loses the ball 35 out from the Titans' line.
54 min: Matt Srama loses the ball and Locke is there to claim the loose ball.
56 min: Maloney kicks a 40/20 and the Warriors will go right on the attack here.
57 min: Feleti Mateo loses the ball and the Titans are off the hook.
57 min: Titans receive a penalty.
58 min: Jerome Ropati makes a break straight up the middle of the field, he runs 15 meters before being tackled on halfway.
59 min: Prince takes an intercept pass and chased down 20 meters out from the Warriors defence.
61 min: The Titans receive a penalty 40 out from Warriors' line.
63 min: The Titans lose the ball out meters out from the Warriors' line.
63 min: Now the Warriors lose the ball.
63 min: Titans spill the ball again and Maloney dives on the loose ball.
64 min: Luke Douglas is on report for a high shot and the Warriors will receive a penalty on halfway.
65 min: Maloney grubbers into the in goal and Peyroux has no chance of getting back into the field of play.
66 min: Maloney loses the ball 10 meters out from the Titans' line.
67 min: The Warriors give away a penalty.
68 min: TRY
Johnson takes an intercept and races 40 meters to score for the Warriors. Maloney's shot at goal from the sideline is successful.
New Zealand Warriors 26-0
75 min: TRY
TRY! Some crazy end to end football culminates in a try to Luke O'Dwyer for the Titans. Prince adds the extras.
New Zealand Warriors 26-6
77 min: The Titans lose the ball 30 out from their own line and the Warriors will go on the attack.
80 min: The Warriors have taken won their first home game of the season with 26-6 thrashing of the Gold Coast Titans.

Click Here to view the live update of the game. | To discuss the game with 1000s of other fans, please click here.