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After coming up just short against the Raiders and Sea Eagles, Des Hasler's Titans dug deep in Auckland to come up with first win of 2024, downing the Warriors 27-24 at Go Media Stadium.

Trailing 12-0 after just seven minutes the Titans looked to be in for another long day but with AJ Brimson and David Fifita standing tall, they broke a six-game losing streak in style.

An early penalty against Titans centre Brian Kelly for a dangerous tackle gave the Warriors field position and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad capitalised when he sliced through from 10 metres out. Shaun Johnson knocked over the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Just four minutes later the home side had a second when Addin Fonua-Blake powered through Kieran Foran from close range for his third try of the season and the Warriors had raced to a 12-0 advantage.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad Try

The Titans hit back with a long range try in the 14th minute with Kelly putting Alofiana Khan-Pereira into space, the winger making plenty of ground before turning a pass inside for Brimson to race away and score.

The Warriors looked to mount more pressure in the 25th minute but a forward pass by Fonua-Blake let the Titans off the hook and they worked their way upfield to post a second try through Tanah Boyd, who showed good speed and footwork to score. The five-eighth converted his own try to make it 12-12.

With Brimson asking plenty of questions in attack the Titans struck a massive blow in the 38th minute when Fifita took an inside pass from Chris Randall and carried two defenders over the line to make it 18-12 to Hasler's men.

Alofiana Khan-Pereira Try

A spilled bomb by Marcelo Montoya deep in his own territory handed Boyd a chance to slot a field goal to stretch the lead to seven points at the break.

Just three minutes after half-time the Titans went further ahead when Kelly put a move on Rocco Berry and then sent a superb flick pass for Khan-Pereira to cross in the left hand corner.

Trailing 23-12 the Warriors looked to have hit back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck pulled down a Johnson bomb to score but replays showed Wayde Egan had knocked on at dummy half and the bunker cancelled the try out.

The Titans marched down field and Fifita produced a quality offload to send Brimson over for his second try of the day in the 55th minute and Gold Coast were closing in on a drought-breaking victory at 27-12.

With his team desperate for a response Fonua-Blake took a pass from Dylan Walker and powered over under the sticks and the Warriors were back within nine points.

AJ Brimson 2nd Try

Six minutes later the Warriors crossed again when Berry followed through a Johnson bomb and came up with a great catch to score. Johnson's conversion made it 27-24.

Johnson continued to pepper the Titans' back three with high kicks but the visitors dug deep for three consecutive sets to keep their tryline intact.

With four minutes to play, Johnson turned to the grubber kick and forced a line dropout, before Kelly came up with a huge play to defuse a bomb in the 78th minute and the Titans clung on for a morale-boosting victory.

Match Snapshot

  • The Titans completed at 95 per cent (21 of 22 sets) in the first half while the Warriors were 15 of 17 at 88 per cent.
  • The Warriors lost their captain's challenge in the 40th minute when they unsuccessfully challenged a knock on call against Marcelo Montoya.
  • Titans fullback AJ Brimson pushed his claims for a Queensland Origin berth with 183 run metres, five tackle breaks and a try double.
  • A crowd of 23,912 was on hand at Go Media Stadium.
  • The Titans have won four of their past five games against the Warriors.
  • Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake ran for 222 metres and had six tackle breaks.

Warriors v Titans - ANZAC Ceremony

  • Warriors fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad celebrated his 100th NRL appearance with the game's opening try after just four minutes. He ran for 262 metres from 24 runs.
  • The Titans were forced into a late reshuffle when Harley Smith-Shields suffered an injury in the warm-up and Aaron Schoupp joined the 17 for his first game of 2024.
  • Jaimin Jolliffe was strong up front for the Titans with 16 runs for 162 metres and 41 tackles.
  • Titans prop Moeaki Fotuaika left the field for a HIA in the 65th minute.
  • The Titans lost their captain's challenge in the 75th minute when they lodged an unsuccessful challenge against a stripping call.

AJ Brimson Try

Play of the Game 

After biding his time on the bench for the opening 20 minutes, David Fifita exploded into action with 76 run metres, four tackle breaks and a trademark powerhouse try in the 37th minute. Cutting back infield from the left edge and taking a pass from hooker Chris Randall, the Maroons enforcer surged through defenders and slammed the ball down to give the Titans an unlikely lead after they had trailed 12-0 just seven minutes in.

David Fifita Try

What they Said 

I feel gutted for the boys. They're not playing the way they want to play, we're not hiding that but individual moments are killing us at the moment...errors, missed tackles by individuals, we're losing the ruck in defence. They played the ball far too quick and they were having really good shots at us off the back of fast play the balls. We didn't turn up and do what we wanted to do but we got beaten by the better team. I am excited about a challenge for us, last year we won one from four so it was worse than this." - Warriors coach Andrew Webster

Warriors: Round 8

"If you look over the past month we were probably building towards something so at the end of the day we probably deserve to get the points. We made it hard for ourselves though, giving them a 12-point start but we did our work on the Warriors and we knew if we stuck to what we planned, it would turn. I also thought towards the end there, we showed a tonne of guts which you'd expect. Something special always happens on days like this and on the players behalf I think they showed fighting spirit towards the end." - Titans coach Des Hasler 

Titans: Round 8

What's Next

The Warriors travel to Newcastle in Round 9 to face the Knights while the Titans host the Storm at Cbus Super Stadium. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.