Titans too strong for Warriors in trial
Saturday 9 February 2013 10:54 PM
The iSelect Gold Coast Titans have had their first hit out for 2013, proving too strong for the New Zealand Warriors in a 42-24 victory in their NRL trial game at Pizzey Park, Burleigh on Saturday evening.
A crowd of 5,500 were entertained with an enthralling contest which included 13 tries, with the Titans outscoring the Warriors eight-tries-to-five.
The Warriors got off to a perfect start with Pita Godinet scoring under the posts inside the first two minutes, and the opening stanza proved typical of a trial with several dropped balls.
The Titans opened their account in the 15th minute as Anthony Don danced past two defenders to score after being sent clear by Matt Srama.
Steve Michaels made it two for the Titans in the 25th minute when he was on the end of a grubber from Jordan Rankin.
Beau Falloon added a third try when he barged over just ten minutes later, to give the Titans an 18-6 lead heading into halftime.
The lead was extended just four minutes into the second half when Mark O’Dare stormed down the touchline to score on the back of a Titans penalty in which Warriors forward Sam Lousi was placed on report for a high tackle.
David Fusitua sparked some life back into the contest when he barged over in the 52nd minute and when Conrad Hurrell made it two tries in three minutes there was suddenly only a converted try between the sides.
Fortunately the Titans found their composure and shortly after, Mark O’Dare was in for his double after a clever kick from Beau Henry.
Jordan Rankin staked his claim for the halfback spot when he darted past three defenders to take the lead out to 20 points in the 66th minute and Anthony Don registered his double just five minutes later as the Titans looked like running away with things.
The Warriors finished on a strong note though with two tries to Ngani Laumape (74th) and Atelea Nafetalai (77th)in the final minutes, but it wasn’t enough as the Titans ran out 24 point winners.
iSelect Titans coach, John Cartwright was pleased with the performance in what was a strong physical contest.
“It was a tough game. You know you’re always going to get a tough game against the Warriors. They sent over a lot of guys pushing for first grade spots, and you know one thing when you play them, they’re always physical and that’s what we really want to get out of a trial. A lot of guys got plenty of minutes for a first hit out, they’re going to be sore tomorrow but there were some pleasing aspects of it,” said Cartwright.
Cartwright was most pleased with the Titans resurgence after the Warriors opened the scoring inside the first two minutes.
“Probably the way they came back from the start. They’re a dangerous side when they get momentum, there were a couple of moments when they had a lot of momentum but we were able to stem that and come up with points ourselves. I think for the majority of the game we stuck to the structure we wanted, and defensively there were some really good patches.
“When we went down their end we came away with points and that was a good sign of us doing the little things well, chasing our kicks and getting to our kicks."
Despite coming away with the victory, Cartwright said there were still some things to fix ahead of next weekend’s trial against Brisbane at Redcliffe.
“We need to just tidy up, short kick offs and silly penalties, things that are in our scope to fix, even for a trial getting the ball back from a short kickoff is not acceptable so if we can tidy up in those areas."
Matt White will have an MRI on Monday after going off injured, whilst Sione Lousi is a major concern for the Warriors after Warriors coach, Matt Elliot confirmed a suspected Posterior Cruciate Ligament injury.
TITANS 42 (Don 2, O’Dare 2, Michaels, Falloon, Rankin, Henry 3/3, Rankin 4/4) defeated the WARRIORS 24 (Godinet, Fisutua, Hurrell, Laumape, Nafetalai, Godinet 2/5)