Credit / nrl.com
Gold Coast Titans 20, NZ Warriors 18
The Warriors have lost a second week in a row - and once again let a storming come back come to nothing.
Both the Warriors and Titans head into this evening's home game for Gold Coast following opening-round losses and will want to get back on track quickly.
The Titans suffered a narrow 32-28 away loss to the Parramatta Eels last week in Sydney, and the Warriors threw away their chance at a first-round home victory losing 16-28 to the Dragons, after fighting their way back into the game from 12-0 down to lead 16-14 early in the second half.
The Warriors were scheduled to play a trial game against the Titans before the season kick-off but were forced to cancel this due to torrential rain in Queensland. Now, they will have to test themselves in real time.
Titan's coach Justin Holbrook, who wants the home crowd to create a "very loud" intimidating atmosphere for their first home game, says he expects the Warriors' free-flowing footy to provide a real threat.
"That’s their strength. They can play that unstructured type of rugby league that they’re very good at. If you’re off your game, they can hurt you. If you’re on your game, they can be your strength as well. They’re a difficult team to play against," Holbrook told the Titan's media team.
The Warrior's have been forced to make a number of changes because of injury, including the loss of Shaun Johnson.
Warriors assistant coach Justin Morgan told Newstalk ZB on Friday the coaching staff's advice to Reece Walsh, who will make his season debut in tonight's game, is to focus on his running game.
"The key message for Reece will be think 'run first', because opposition teams will be a tad nervous when he's got the ball. So, it'll be run first mentality for Reece."
Morgan says the Warriors "really want to take it to the Titans", especially up front.
"We're confident we can right some of the wrongs of last week."
The last time the two teams met, the Titans white-washed the Warriors 44-0.
Despite the Warriors' intent to turn around their game today, the Titans begun where they left off last season, racing out to a 12-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes.
The Warriors got back in the game with a converted try to hooker Wayde Egan to close the game to 12-6 after 20 minutes, before Titans winger Greg Marzhew grabbed his second try for a 16-6 margin with 25 minutes gone.
But as they did last week, the Warriors stormed back with two tries before halftime - to wingers Adam Pompey and Marcelo Montoya - to go into the break leading 18-16.
However, midway through the second half, Titans wing Phillip Sami scored a four-pointer to claw back the lead 20-18, which the Gold Coast hung onto for the win.
Full-time: Gold Coast Titans 20, NZ Warriors 18.