It wasn't a vintage Warriors performance but it was enough to triumph 26-10 to keep Gold Coast Titans winless for 2019 tonight at Mt Smart Stadium.
Coming off the disappointing loss to Manly last week, Warriors looked ready to make amends tonight. They defended stoutly in the first half before they laid on a pair of tries in either half to record their second victory of the 2019 season, despite a late fightback from the winless Titans.
The relief will be palpable for the home side. Youngster Chanel Harris-Tavita looked comfortable in his debut, taking on the line and putting together a ten-point haul. It was the experienced duo of Blake Green and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, the former through his kicking game and direction while the latter broke open the game with a moment of magic in the second half.
Ten minutes after the resumption, the two combined. Green broke through the line before passing inside for Tuivasa-Sheck. The current Dally M medalist stepped past a static Anthony Don before streaking to the stripe to make it 20-nil, putting the contest to bed.
Frankly the game was over once it reached 14-nil. Gold Coast couldn't get out of their own way, a series of wayward kicks and bounced passes stymied their attack despite holding the territorial advantage in the first half. The Titans kept themselves from being niled for the second time in 2019 with two late tries to wingers Dale Copley and Anthony Don but the fightback remained a distant possibility after their first half.
Warriors were clinical in their first half execution. They entered the red zone twice, scoring first through a slicing run from Peta Hiku then doubled the advantage when David Fusitua completed a standard finish for himself to get off the mark for 2019. Harris-Tavita added a pair of penalty goals for their 14-nil halftime score.
Something remains rotten on the coast. They re the only side in the NRL to be winless after four rounds, and despite the return of Ash Taylor the attack continued to be disjointed. The late points puts a bandaid over an anemic performance which heaps more pressure on Garth Brennan.
For the Warriors, they needed that after the past fortnight. Rome wasn't built in a day but this was a good building block for the side still looking for their direction after losing their talisman, Shaun Johnson in the off-season.