Game day: Warriors face tough opener against Titans

By Te Ao - Māori News
Photo / File

The Warriors run out for their season opener against the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday night keen to get off to a flying start.

New coach Nathan Brown will be eager to stamp his mark on the team which narrowly missed the top eight last season.

The Warriors finished the 2020 season 10th on 16 points, four points off the cut, and one place behind tonight's opponents, the Titans, who were 9th on 18 points.

Brown says the Warriors will need to improve beyond just recruiting well if they are to make this season's playoffs.

"Getting the consistency and combinations is going to be a real key," he says.

The New Zealand side were up against it last year, based away from Aotearoa and for many of them split apart from their loved ones and the support networks back home, not to mention their base of loyal supporters.

A concerted effort has been made to improve the situation this year, with the team training in Australia for the past two months and whānau joining players and staff where possible.

Brown says the Warriors are better prepared than they were last year when the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was new to everyone. 

"The experiences that we all gained out of last year are going to help us," he says.

 

Here we go 🎢💙❤️💚 #gameday #2k21

Posted by Vodafone Warriors on Friday, 12 March 2021

Even so, it will likely be another season where the Warriors will have to go to another level if they are to hit the targets they have set themselves for this campaign.

The bookies have the Warriors finishing outside the top eight again but time will tell if they are right or if this Warriors team has what it takes to push beyond where they left off last year.

Kick-off is at 5pm (NZ time) at Central Coast Stadium.

NZ Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Euan Aitken, 4 Peta Hiku, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Kodi Nikorima, 7 Chanel Harris-Tavita, 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Wayde Egan, 10 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11 Eliesa Katoa, 12 Bayley Sironen, 13 Tohu Harris. Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16 Leeson Ah Mau, 17 Bunty Afoa, 18 Adam Pompey, 20 Sean O’Sullivan, 21 Tom Ale, 22 Josh Curran.

Gold Coast Titans: 1 Alexander Brimson, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Brian Kelly, 4 Patrick Herbert, 5 Corey Thompson, 6 Ashley Taylor, 7 Jamal Fogarty, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Mitch Rein, 10 Moeaki Fotuaika, 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 David Fifita, 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. Interchange: 14 Tyrone Peachey, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 Jaimin Jolliffe, 17 Erin Clark, 18 Phillip Sami, 19 Beau Fermor.