Titans 20-18 Warriors: Warriors lose out to Titans in closely fought clash
Greg Marzhew of the Titans is congratulated by team mates after scoring a try during the round two NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the New Zealand Warriors at Cbus Super Stadium, on March 19, 2022, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

New Zealand Warriors fell to defeat against the Gold Coast Titans in a breathless match up that proved just how entertaining NRL is week in, week out.

AJ Brimson was involved right from the start and he carved out the opening try for the home side. Beau Fermor touched down after showing blistering pace and the Warriors had a mountain to climb early on with the Titans in good form. 

  • A blistering first half; a closely fought second

The Warriors were further behind after just 15 minutes as the Titans scored again. This time it was Greg Marzhew who went over, following a superb Jayden Campbell pass. He touched down under the posts and it was 12-0 after the conversion. 

The Warriors went over to make it 12-6 - Wayde Egan scored after the away side were given the opportunity following a Titans mistake. This gave them the impetus they needed but they were soon further behind - Marzhew scored his second to extend the home side’s lead. 

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David Fifita then put Egan in with a superb pass to cut the scores again and although Titans looked in control, a bizarre try to Adam Pompey levelled the scores just before half time. The ball wasn’t grounded and Pompey took full advantage to make it 16-16 - and Reece Walsh converted to give the Warriors an 18-16 advantage.

The second half saw nowhere near as much action on the try line, but it was an epic content in a great advert for NRL. Brimson was at the heart of the match-deciding play, putting Sami in for the try and making it 20-16 to the Titans - and that’s how it stayed.

  • Post match reaction from both camps

"I don't think we won a tight game last year so I think it's great and in particular a credit to our forwards through the pre-season getting themselves in a better spot to be able to work harder,” said Titans coach Justin Holbrook after the game. 

I thought Tino led that but everybody, Isaac Liu is doing that without people noticing, Kevin Proctor came on and did that for us today and that's what we need. We need that willingness to defend ... we were on our line a lot and we kept hanging in there, we just scrambled."

Warriors coach Nathan Brown couldn’t hide his disappointment with his side’s start to the game. "We're past trying to develop players, we want to win games of footy and that start wasn't acceptable,” he bemoaned. 

Not a good enough start. A good effort to get back into the game and then hit the front like we did last week but then we had two young outside backs drop the ball with the line wide open just purely and simply because they didn't get deep enough.”

“Again not acceptable, not now with where we want to be as a football club."