Warriors 'gritty' performance sinks Titans in exciting first-up win

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Warriors have started the new NRL season with a bang, knocking aside the Gold Coast Titans with an emphatic 19-6 win Saturday night at Central Coast Stadium, NSW.

The Warriors forwards led the charge with tries to second-rower Bayley Sironen and prop Leeson Ah Mau. 

Halfback Kodi Nikorima also chipped in with three conversions and a try of his own. Warriors Coach Nathan Brown said post-match that the team "certainly earned everything out there today."

Brown was pleased with his team's effort describing their performance as "very gritty".

“We had a lot of defence to do and we lost a few players with head knocks early in the second half, and the boys kept turning up for each other." 

Leading into the game, Brown emphasised that consistency across the season is what is needed if the Warriors are to be successful this year.

"We played a pretty simple game today and, at the end of the day, our effort is what earned us the win. Our commitment and effort in defence is what earned us the victory."

He said it was important to start the season as they did and build on it, "For us, it was about being gritty and earning the win, and we did earn the win quite well I thought."

Brown said other teams had been together longer and had developed combinations that the Warriors were still developing given they have a number of new players and some young players in key positions.

"All our new recruits really contributed well and, as a whole, I didn't really want to single any one player out because I thought collectively everyone worked really hard for each other and that's sort of what got us our win." 

The Warriors' next game is against the Newcastle Knights on Friday at Central Coast Stadium.

NZ Warriors 19 (Bayley Sironen, Leeson Ah Mau, Kodi Nikorima tries; Nikorima 3 goals, Chanel Harris-Tavita field goal). Gold Coast Titans 6 (Corey Thompson try; Jamal Fogarty goal). HT: 6-0

Watch the full game highlights here.