Titans go down swinging in NZ
Sunday 5 May 2013 2:12 PM
The iSelect Gold Coast Titans produced a gusty second half fightback but fell narrowly short of victory in a 25-24 loss to the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland today.
The Titans were down and out trailing 24-6 midway through the second half but launched a gritty fightback to set-up a grandstand finish behind by just six points inside the final 10 minutes.
However, a late field goal to Shaun Johnson ended the Titans' fightback and gave the Warriors a 25-18 advantage heading into the dying minutes as Gold Coast winger Anthony Don crossed for a late consolation try right on full-time.
The Warriors got off to a perfect start to lead 10-0 courtesy of tries to winger Manu Vatuvei and back rower Feleti Mateo.
But the Titans maintained their composure and got back in the match when centre Jamal Idris barged over out wide and five-eighth Aidan Sezer added the extras from the sideline to reduce the margin to 10-6 with 12 mins remaining in the opening half.
The Warriors hit back through a try to winger Bill Tupou and Shaun Johnson's conversion gave the home side a 16-6 lead at halftime.
The Warriors extended their lead after the break when Johnson scored after an attacking bomb was allowed to bounce. However he was unable to convert as the Warriors led 20-6 with 26 minutes remaining.
Centre Ben Henry then made it even harder for the visitors when he scored to extend the home side's lead to 24-6.
But the Titans weren't done with yet and got back within striking range courtesy of tries to William Zillman and another to Idris to reduce the margin to 24-18 with 10 minutes remaining.
However, Johnson's field goal put the home side seven points clear in the dying stages before Idris helped put Don over in the corner right on full-time.
iSelect Gold Coast Titans Co-Captain Greg Bird is convinced his side can be a major threat in the inaugural Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines tournament.
iSelect Titans playmaker Beau says he has overcome the toughest part of his recovery from a knee reconstruction as he looks to get back on track in the NRL in 2014.
Some of the Gold Coast's biggest sports stars will go head-to-head on the golf course next week for the ultimate Clash of the Codes charity golf event at the Palmer Colonial in Robina.