Titans luckless forward Ben Ridge was left devastated after suffering a pectoral injury in his first appearance for the season during the Titans 22-12 victory over the Warriors at Clive Berhofer Stadium, Toowoomba tonight.
Ridge was hurt in the first quarter and will have scans early in the week to determine the seriousness of the injury but was a disconsolate figure in the dressing room.
The injury numbed an otherwise pleasing nights for the Titans who were understandably scrappy in the first two quarters but more convincing in the second, resisting several Warriors raids on their tryline after giving their opponentds a rush of possession. They kept the Warriors scoreless for more than 50 minutes after being behind 12-6.
Warriors scored first in the 5th minute after going upfield on the back of a penalty. A grubber kick into the in-goal was fumbled by fullback Anthony Don and centre Dominique Peyroux forced theball. Api Pewhairangi converted.
In the 16th minute, after a couple of good carries by stand-in skipper Matt White, Leva Li scored in the right corner after quick hands with Kane Elgey and Jamal Fogarty slick. Elgey converted from the touchline for 6-all at quarter-time.
Warriors prop Nathaniel Peteru barged over through some soft defence under the posts and Pewhairangi converted for a 12-6 Warriors lead early in the second quarter.
A great offload from former Warriors Matt Robinson saw Brad Tighe score from short range and Kane Elgey’s conversion brought the scores back to 12-all. Both sides were a bit disjointed for the rest of the quarter which was understandable and the scores were unchanged at half-time.
Shaun Hudson scored in the left corner after a succession of Warriors errors, after they had been in command for the first half of the third quarter. Twice the Warriors spilled bombs and the Titans were finally rewarded to go ahead for the first time in the match.
Fogarty converted from the touchline for an 18-12 lead two minutes from three quarter time.
Christian Hazard, playing halfback inside Jamal Fogarty by that stage, sealed the game midway through the last quarter when he scored wide out on the right. Fogarty missed the conversion, the first unconverted try of the night, for the scores to remain at 22-12.
White led the side well, Hazard, Elgey and Fogarty handled the pressure of their step up to NRL level with aplomb, Lachlan Burr was dangerous on the right edge and Robinson played well, giving encouragement that several of the few faces are handy acquisitions.
Ryan Simpkins, in his first run for the club after playing under-20s, was also busy and solid and put up his hand as a replacement for Ridge while James Roberts was dangerous when given extra space at fullback and Li showed he could be a handful when he develops.
Titans 22 (Li, Tighe, Hudson, Hazard tries; Elgey 2, Fogarty goals) beat Warriors 12 (Peyroux, Peteru tries; Pewhairangi 2 goals).