Warriors crush Titans for second NRL win of season
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/111844595/-

2019-04-05 09:45:46

The Warriors humbled the hapless Titans 26-10 at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night to move on from their short-lived form slump.

It was a Warriors performance reminiscent of their season opener against the Bulldogs, rather than the dreadful losses to the Wests Tigers and Sea Eagles.

After shipping 80 points in those two games, it will be hugely pleasing to Warriors coach Stephen Kearney to see his players being committed on defence again for the first 60 minutes.

However, they did lose their intensity for a period after that and allowed the Titans to score two tries that could have been stopped.

This won't go down as one of the Warriors' great wins and in a couple of weeks time it will have evaporated from most people's memories.

However, in the grand scheme of things it was huge. A third loss in a row would leave them chasing plenty of other teams to get into the top eight, confidence among the players would have sunk lower and more Australian pundits would be putting the boot in.

So this win gives them breathing space. It wasn't the type of performance that would have the Roosters and Storm worried and it was far from perfect, but two points are two points.

It was a game the Warriors should win if they want to be a top eight side, but the Titans couldn't be under-estimated.

Even though they were winless, they have a forward pack to be feared, plus this was the first time their key halves pairing of Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts had played together this year.

But it wasn't a great start from the Warriors with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck putting the kick off out on the full.

Four minutes later with the Warriors having their first real attack Solomone Kata threw a poor forward pass to David Fusitu'a.

It wasn't until the eighth minute that there was anything for the Warriors fans to get excited about, when debutant Chanel Harris-Tavita made a nice run.

Two minutes later through Blake Green threw a long, bullet-like pass to Peta Hiku that cut out two Titans defenders and the centre went on to score.

Following that try errors started coming from the Titans and it's no wonder they've broken a club record by losing their first four games of the season.

The Warriors' confidence grew as the half went on, with Tohu Harris at last this season finding some form and being a threat with the ball.

Six minutes before the break Blake Green was tackled in the air by Moeaki Fotuaika which allowed Harris-Tavita to kick a penalty from 16m out.

Then four minutes later Fusitu'a dived in by the right corner flag for his first try of the season, sneaking through a narrow gap.

Harris-Tavita goaled another penalty five minutes into the second half, but the game was pretty much sealed in the 50th minute when Tuivasa-Sheck, who'd been quiet on attack up until then, took a pass from Green and exploded past three Titans players for a try.

The Titans' drought was broken on the hour mark when winger Dale Copley swerved past four Warriors players and twisted out of a tackle from Tuivasa-Sheck to score.

Anthony Don scored another try a few minutes later as the Titans had back to back sets.

Those tries caused some concerns among Warriors fans, but they came to an end when Harris scored his first try of the season in the 73rd minute.

So a good win for the Warriors, but they'll need to raise their game before taking on the Rabbitohs on the Sunshine Coast next weekend.

AT A GLANCE

Warriors 26 (Peta Hiku, David Fusitu'a, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Tohu Harris tries; Chanel Harris-Tavita 5 goals), Titans 10 (Dale Copley, Anthony Don tries; Ash Taylor goal). HT: 12-0

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