The Warriors held off a fast-finishing Gold Coast Titans 24-20 in a willing game of football tonight at Robina.
Despite blowing a ten-point lead, sin-bins, penalties and a swathe of errors, New Zealand through some magic from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Ken Maumalo rebounded from their heavy loss to Melbourne last weekend with a spirited performance that moved them into tenth.
For the Titans, they still struggle finding ways to win. They led twice in the contest before they left it too late for Alexander Brimson's try to count, despite a madcap final minute which saw a sin-bin, a penalty and a Brimson brain explosion. Coach Garth Brennan will continue to wonder what his side have to do to bank consecutive victories.
Looking to rebound themselves, the Warriors opened tonight's contest with some sparkling football. Tuivasa-Sheck opened them up from a scrum play that sent Ken Maumalo across. This came after the unlikely source of Karl Lawton burrowed over for the opener, 10-nil.
Although the results haven't been there, spirit definitely has for the Titans. Ryley Jacks got them into the contest with a simple run-around try then Brian Kelly, the former Sea Eagle, was a nuisance all night on the left started and finished a movement to gift them the lead.
For much of the second half, it looked inevitable that the Titans would break open the floodgates, but for some desperate defense and wrong decisions, they were held at bay by the Warriors, with the only score coming from Tyrone Roberts' boot to make it 14-12.
Warriors struck a pair of blows that had them on the cusp of two points. Blake Green just took the open space before he sent Tuivasa-Sheck across then Maumalo added another highlight reel putdown, followed by a superb conversion from Issac Luke, made it 24-14 with four to play.
A late try from Brimson where he exploded onto the ball and outpaced the defense reduced it to 24-20. Then in a madcap final 60 seconds, Adam Blair was binned for the visitors which gifted the Titans a final chance but Brimson went from hero to villain, as he toed through for himself and it was gratefully dropped on by the defense for a valuable two points for the Warriors.