The Titans Beat the Warriors to Pick Up First NRL Win of the Year

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Bren Gray
The Titans Beat the Warriors to Pick Up First NRL Win of the Year

The Gold Coast Titans roared back from an early deficit to claim their first win of the season on Thursday night, putting the Warriors' premiership hopes in severe doubt.  

Conceding two early tries, the Titans faced a daunting afternoon in Auckland. However, they dug deep and channelled their recent battling spirit to claw their way back into the game.

Ultimately, the Gold Coast side were able to outmuscle the Warriors, defying the underdog label betting sites had slapped on them. 

News Insights

  • The Titans break their 2024 duck with a marvellous 27-24 win against the Warriors.
  • Gold Coast have now won four of their last five matches against the Kiwi side.
  • New Zealand were unable to capitalise on an early 12-0 lead.
  • Aaron Schoupp received his first NRL minutes this year for the Titans after Harley Smith-Shields got injured pre-game.

The Titans Overturn Early Deficit to Clinch Crucial Win  

Having fallen just short against both the Raiders and Sea Eagles, Des Hasler's Titans dug deep in Auckland to secure their first win of 2024, edging out the Warriors 27-24 at Mount Smart Stadium. 

Conceding a quickfire 12-0 deficit after just seven minutes, it appeared to be another bad day at the office for the visitors. However, inspired performances from AJ Brimson and David Fifita spearheaded a stirring comeback, breaking their six-game losing streak in style. 

The Titans' fightback began in the 14th minute with a long-range score. Brian Kelly sent winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira clear with a deft pass, who carved through metres before selflessly laying off inside for Brimson to race clear and touch down.  Brimson's probing attacks put the Warriors on the back foot, allowing the resurgent Titans to turn the tables and claim a commanding 27-12 lead. 

Desperate for a response, Fonua-Blake bulldozed his way over the line from a Dylan Walker's pass, bringing the Warriors back within nine points.  Six minutes later, the Warriors hit back again. Rocco Berry soared to claim a superb catch from Shaun Johnson's booming bomb, before grounding the ball for a try. Johnson's conversion narrowed the deficit to just three points at 27-24. 

With just four minutes remaining, Johnson resorted to a grubber kick, forcing a dropout. In a tense finale, Kelly produced a match-saving play by diffusing a bomb in the 78th minute, securing a morale-boosting victory for the Titans. 

New Zealand Struggle Against the Gold Coast Outfit Again 

The Warriors have had a hard time against the Titans lately. They lead the overall head-to-head stats by 20-12, but in four out of the last five meetings between the two sides, they have been the ones to leave the pitch with fallen shoulders.  

Regardless of their recent woes against the Titans, online bookmakers like PlayUp and WinnersBet treated the Kiwis as favourites. Andrew Webster and company started the match strong, but they quickly lost footing and put their title ambitions in jeopardy.  

The Warriors now languish in 11th place, desperately clinging to hopes of a top eight finish, never mind replicating last season's heroics of a top four placing. 

Andrew Webster Refuses to Blame Loss on Controversial Refereeing Call 

Warriors' winger Rocco Berry was denied a potential match-winning try after a contentious knock-on call, but head coach Andrew Webster refused to blame the referee for his team’s defeat.  

“I thought it was going to go our way, but you never assume and I am not blowing up and being critical about it, simply because if you are in the box you get a couple of looks at it. 

“It is hard with deflections with two guys in the air, but maybe I was hoping it was a try, but my initial reaction was I thought we were going to get that one.” 

Next up, the Warriors will face the Knights in Newcastle, where they’ll be desperate to turn their season around after back-to-back losses.

The Warriors were hoping to return to winning ways after receiving a hammering against the Dragons. But, they suffered another defeat, which will no doubt prompt betting apps to reconsider their NRL title odds again. The Titans, on the other hand, will be looking to build on this victory and put on a winning run to climb up the standings.