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New Zealand Warriors too strong for Gold Coast Titans despite Dave Taylor hat-trick

Gold Coast 16 NZ Warriors 24

Warriors utility Feleti Mateo tries to get past the Gold Coast defence.

Warriors utility Feleti Mateo tries to get past the Gold Coast defence. Photo: Getty Images

Queensland’s forwards will have added weight on their shoulders in Origin I following the Gold Coast-Warriors game: 122kg, to be exact.

Shunned by the Maroons for the opening encounter with NSW at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, Titans giant David Taylor tendered a barnstorming hat-trick in the 24-16 defeat to the Aucklanders.

Although his effectiveness faded in the second half, the 25-year-old Taylor will be the subject of a selection push if the Maroons suffer a shock loss this week.

Time
80.00
Team
GCT
Score
16
Team
NZW
Score
24
Gold Coast versus Warriors
View Match Statistics
Players Taylor(3) Tries 3 Tries 5 Players Matulino, Johnson, Fusitua(2), Mannering
Players Henry 2/3 (66%) Conversions 2 Conversions 2 Players Townsend 2/5 (40%)
Players Penalty goals 0 Penalty goals 0 Players
Players Field goals 0 Field goals 0 Players

“He’s been building for a game like that all year,” said coach John Cartwright, who added “the Coaltrain” was not outwardly upset about his omission. “He’s threatened a lot and he’s had some really good passages of play.

“His first 40 minutes don’t get much better than that. If he continues to play like he did in that first 40, he’ll keep them aware that he’s there.”

But while Taylor’s strengths were abundantly clear in the opening 40 minutes, Cartwright reckoned there were lingering weaknesses too.

“As soon as he starts … in the second half there, trying to offload the ball and preconceives things, that’s when he loses his impact with the ball,” Cartwright said. “His strength is running hard with the ball and attracting numbers to him. The rest of the side starts to read him.”

After the Titans led 16-14 at half-time in front of an 18,753 crowd which seemed to favour the visitors, the Warriors hit the front six minutes into the second session then extended their lead with 18 left.

The Titans, competition leaders earlier in the season, have now lost three in a row and tumbled out of the top eight with Saturday’s defeat.  They were badly depleted, missing both their halves through injury, their Origin contingent and the suspended Greg Bird. Taylor had clocked up his hat-trick by half-time, when the Titans led 16-14.

Chad Townsend’s pass laid on a try for Warriors prop Ben Matulino in the ninth minute, Taylor hitting back when Maurice Blair’s grubber kick was spilled by Sam Tomkins.

Video referees Bernard Sutton and Steve Folkes confirmed the Steeden had been grounded by Taylor, Beau Henry’s conversion edging Gold Coast in front.

 Shaun Johnson scored a magnificent 21st minute try from near halfway. Late inclusion David Fusitua flicked the ball to Johnson, who accelerated past the Titans’ cover with blinding speed to score.

Taylor took two defenders across the line with him for his 28th minute try from close range; with three minutes left in the half Warrior Konrad Hurrell picked up a pass at his ankles to put Fusitua over in the corner.

That looked like being the end of the scoring in the first session. But Titan Paul Carter charged down a kick with a minute left and set sail upfield.

Play quickly swept to the left, where Taylor loomed up and barged over despite the attentions of multiple defenders.

There was comedy late in the game when the Warriors rekindled the ancient practice of actually pushing in the scrum. The Titans were forced into error and their prop Luke Bailey remonstrated with Perenara, saying “How many times have we heard ‘don’t push?’”

Perenara responded:  “You’ve never heard me say that”.

Mannering later said: “The boys are pretty happy, actually. We did actually practise it at training. It’s something we can pull out from time to time. We’ll keep it up our sleeves I think.”

In another off-beat incident, Titans trainer Trevor Gillmeister appeared to spray water from a bottle in the direction of Perenara. The incident was not reported by the referees to the ground manager but could still be bought to the attention of the NRL.

The Titans lost hooker Beau Falloon to a back injury while Johnson suffered a minor ankle problem.

Cartwright was dismayed with penalties that gave the Warriors a mountain of second-half possession.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a discrepancy like that with one side getting the ball,” he said. “At one stage there ... we had 10 sets and they had 24.”

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden welcomed the control his team showed on the back of that possession.

The Warriors have not lost to Gold Coast since hooker Nathan Friend went from one club to the other. “He could be a Steve Menzies, play until he’s 38 or 39, he’s such a professional,”  McFadden said.

WARRIORS 24 (D Fusitua 2 B Matulino S Johnson  S Mannering tries C Townsend 2 goals) bt GOLD COAST 16 (D Taylor 3 tries B Henry 2 goals) at CBUS Super Stadium. Referees: H Perenara/G Morris. Crowd: 18,753

4 comments so far

  • Some pretty dodgy refereeing out there last night.

    Commenter
    Reg
    Location
    Jervis Bay
    Date and time
    May 25, 2014, 7:57AM
    • Paul Carter never charged down the kick. It was a deliberate knock on and should have been called so. refs were awful in this game. NRL needs to go back to just the one controlling the games.

      Commenter
      BigBoppa
      Date and time
      May 25, 2014, 1:33PM
      • But would 1 ref help when it was so very obvious one must have had money on one team, cant be any other excuse for the pathetic state of refs apart from gambling or perhaps a back hander cash payment from someone. I know that is extreme but honestly it seems the only logical answer for all the poor calls made that have effected outcomes.

        Commenter
        McBatt
        Location
        Brisbane
        Date and time
        May 26, 2014, 7:51AM
    • 2 comments & both about pathetic dodgy refs calls, I agree big time. When radio commentators sound as perplexed as they were during this game it is a problem. As for the game, two different games were played by NZW, first half how the players think they play best & 2nd half played how they coached to play, great 2nd half despite the ref trying hard to be Titans 14th man on field.
      Great to see Dave Taylor shine, needs to use stronger batteries so he shines week in week out.
      I wouldnt like to be coach of either team as it would send me nuts.

      Commenter
      McBatt
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      May 26, 2014, 7:48AM

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