Impressive rookie halfback Kane Elgey has grabbed a double as the Gold Coast Titans continued their NRL momentum with a 32-28 win over the Warriors in Auckland.
The visitors, who produced plenty of expansive play, took control in the second half with four tries in a row before holding out a late Warriors fight-back on Saturday.
The result made it four wins in five matches for the Titans, who cracked 30 points for the third successive week, and it also snapped the Queenslanders’ eight-game losing steak against the Warriors.
SCOREBOARD: WAR 28-32 GLD
|in Auckland, April 25 2015|
|Tackles:||Nate Myles (GLD) – 49|
|Line breaks:||A Don, K Elgey (GLD) – 2|
|All runs:||Ben Matulino (WAR) – 19|
|Run (m):||Ben Matulino (WAR) – 159|
|New Zealand: D Fusitua, B Matulino, J Wright, S Kata, B Thopson tries, S Johnson 4 goalsGold Coast: K Elgey (2), A Don, K Moseley, J Roberts, R James tries, A Zezer 4 goals|
The match, the first of five on Anzac Day, started with both sides inviting the other to score.
With just three minutes gone, a Titans error deep in their own territory was punished by the Warriors sending centre David Fusitu’a over.
The home side returned the favour with a turn-over and Titans second rower Ryan James’ deft off-load handed Elgey his debut first-grade try.
But a Gold Coast forward pass gave the Warriors the field position for prop Ben Matulino to dot down.
The visitors again struck back, this time after Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei had produced a monster hit on centre James Roberts.
While the 15,102-strong crowd was still buzzing, the Titans worked the ball wide before Elgey produced a big cut-out pass for winger Anthony Don to score.
The Warriors went back in front just out from halftime, hooker Nathan Friend finding a big hole around the ruck and setting up winger Jonathan Wright to score.
With his team up 18-12 early in the second spell, fullback Tuimoala Lolohea produced one of the plays for the game, running down try-bound winger David Mead in a long-range chase.
But the Titans hit the front for the first time with a quick double strike.
Dummy-half Kierran Moseley went through some weak defence to touch down, before Roberts, the season’s leading try-scorer, took his tally to nine after the Warriors failed to clean up a bomb.
Elgey’s second try, courtesy of a Roberts break, opened the gap further.
James then got reward for a strong performance when he crashed over with 13 minutes to go.
The Warriors did give themselves late hope, with centre Solomone Kata and second-rower Bodene Thompson both touching down, but the Titans were able to hold out over the last two minutes.
Titans lock Greg Bird was put on record early in the second half for a high shot on NSW Origin teammate Ryan Hoffman, who was helped off the field.
There was a second injury concern for the Warriors, with Fusitu’a being carried off in a medicab after being stopped in a tackle with eight minutes to go.