Warriors halves fire in trial win over Titans

Warriors halves Blake Green and Shaun Johnson combined to inspire a 20-14 trial win over the Gold Coast Titans in the duo’s first game together as a pairing.

The performance will give Warriors fans hope that the club has the firepower to return to finals football for the first time since 2011.

After an early try to Titans half Ash Taylor the Warriors halves started to find their rhythm.

In the 27th minute Green and Johnson combined in a sweeping move from left to right with David Fusitu’a scoring from hooker Sam Cook’s pass.

Issac Luke made his long awaited return from injury and showed some promising signs at hooker with a 15-metre dart from close range just falling short.

From a Warriors fan’s perspective the pleasing aspect of that was the 30-year-old’s pace off the mark in what was a promising performance for the veteran.

On the stroke of half-time Green saw space on the left and found Johnson who showcased his class with a tap on to Roger Tuivasa Sheck which resulted in a try on the left to Solomone Kata.

After half-time Johnson threw a brilliant cut-out ball to Fusitu’a whose acrobatic finish in the corner was worth the admission price alone.

The Warriors then went off the boil and spent the next 15 minutes defending their line and did a reasonable job of it until Tyronne-Robert Davis burrowed over in the 65th minute for the Titans.

As horizontal rain bucketed down Cook darted over from close range to take the Warriors out to 20-10.

A slick ball from Konrad Hurrell found Roberts-Davis who went on a storming 30-metre run to the tryline with five minutes remaining but the Warriors had done enough.

The Titans have plenty to work on ahead of their season opener against the Raiders.

Half Ash Taylor had some nice touches and second-rower Ryan James impressed on the left edge and made one outstanding 50-metre break down field but a lack of cohesion overall prevented Garth Brennan’s men from building any pressure.

The biggest highlight for the Gold Coast was boom 21-year-old forward Keegan Hipgrave who ran strongly and played with plenty of aggression.

The Titans lost winger Brendan Elliott who went up the tunnel in the seventh minute with what appeared to be a lower leg injury.

Errors and penalties marred the early stages before in the 14th minute Taylor put through a grubber from close range which ricocheted off the feet of Green.

The Titans number seven showed great presence of mind to trail through towards the in-goal area and pounce to score.

The Warriors also have a lot of improvement in them but the halves performance was heartening for long suffering fans to say the least.

Warriors 20 (David Fusitu’a 2, Solomone Kata; Sam Cook tries, Shaun Johnson, Cook goals) defeated Titans 14 (Tyronne Roberts-Davis 2, Ash Taylor tries, Michael Gordon goal).

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