Kia ora and welcome to Mt Smart Stadium where the Warriors take on the Titans in the first home game of the season.
Warriors Nation is well and truly abuzz after the side's emphatic win over the Rabbitohs in Perth last weekend. Can they keep the good feels going against the Titans in Penrose, or will it be Konrad Hurrell blowing kisses of death for the lads from "The GC"?
Anyone else remember that show? Neither.
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Warriors - 20 Titans - 8
FULLTIME - There it is, the Warriors have opened their season with consecutive wins for the first tiem since 2009. Plenty of energy until the end for the lcoals against a side which was far from poor. Check out all the highlights above.
79 mins - Titans just metres out again but a forward pass on the line stops Hurrell in his tracks.
77 mins - TRY TITANS - Hurrell puts in a deft grubber for winger Don to dot down. Gordon converts from the sideline. Is there hope for The GC? Warriors 20-8
76 mins - Titans back on the assault, can the Warriors keep a team tryless for the first time since 2014? That one was against the Titans too, funnily enough.
74 mins - Titans go for the short kick-off and do well to claim it back. Looking for a consolation try...Gordon just metres out and he's crunched by a gang of tacklers to end the set. That says it all for the Warriors tonight.
72 mins - TRY WARRIORS - And Fuistua soars over Sami to claim the ball and fall to the turf to score! Spectacular stuff from the aerial master after a perfect bomb from Johnson. SJ can't convert. Warriors 20-2
71 mins - Green takes the 4th 20m out. Johnson bombs to the corner....
70 mins - Johnson probes the line before dropping a pin-point grubber into the in-goal and here comes another set of six for the Warriors. The GC came back from 18 points down last week against the Raiders, those kind of heroics seem pretty far-fetched now.
69 mins - Ligi Sao with a magical offload to Maumalo who steps his way to the half. Johnson 20m out now....
68 mins - Johnson chips over the top on the last and it's well scopped up by Gordon. Don trundles to halfway on the 2nd tackle...but he's coughed up the ball.
66 mins - Gordon from the back for the GC. It's looking a long road back now for the Titans. Three times over the line tonight but yet to register a four-pointer.
62 mins - TRY WARRIORS - Green to RTS who takes the ball right to the line, committing the second defender before flicking a short-ball to Kata who crashes over off his shoulder. Johnson hooks the conversion wide. Warriors 16-2
61 mins - Sami is over in the corner but the refree has quickly signalled no try. Stray forward looks to have impeded Johnson and the Bunker makes its fastest decision ever. No try.
60 mins - Elgey avoids the Hiku spot tackle and chips forward, RTS trapped in-goal. Six more coming up for the GC.
59 mins - Penalty GC and Latu carries to the NZ 40m on tackle two. Proctor follows with a hefty charge....
57 mins - Johnson skips clear, links with Afoa who has players queuing up on the left but the pass is shoddy, RTS unable to take it and it's ruled a knock-on just 5m out from the line.
56 mins - Titans make abreak of their own down the left edge, but the offload to Proctor on the ensuing tackle is deemed, somewhat unfairly, forward. NZ scrumfeed on their 10m.
55 mins - Johnson pinging off would-be tacklers, finds some room for a grubber and the fullback does well to let it roll dead. Impressive defense under plenty of pressure by the GC.
54 mins - 34 offloads for the Warriors to the Titans' 10. Afoa hits it up for the first, metres out....
53 mins - Warriors break! Green in open spaces, links with Lisone who cuts out wide and makes a bee-line for the corner, can't quite get there. Players in motion as the GC scramble well in defence but NZ draw the penalty. More pressure forthcoming.
51 mins - Bomb hoisted, falls a metre out form the NZ line but it's been knocked on by a GC player.
50 mins - Pul with a superb run, fends off one and finds RTS inside who's immediately met in the tackle. Probing out wide with pass after pass until Johnson grubbers, just cleaned up a metre out from the line. GC get the penalty and breathe a sigh of relief, play shifts back to halfway.
48 mins - Gordon inside ball but the defence holds again. Hurrell ducks his head and attempts to burrow over but he's held up over the line. Rein overcooks his grubber and NZ have held out.
47 mins - Killer of a penalty on the 4th tackle against the Warriors. Tap and go and they're just metres out....
46 mins - Warriors thrid tackle just over halfway...RTS to Kata but the centre fumbles and GC make a mini-break. 2nd tackle on the NZ 40m....
44 mins - Disasterous stuff from NZ as they attempt to restart penalty which ends up with an Afoa knock-on.
43 mins - Cartwright with a spiral bomb of his own but the height is lacking, RTS does well to take it outsretcthed on the fly. Second tackle over halfway and the penalty comes for offside.
42 mins - Harris with space, finds Fusitua who cuts inside for more metres on the 4th. Green sends up a huge spirallingbomb, well taken at the back an the GC take tackle one on their 10m line.
41 mins - Bustling first set for the Titans, Hurrell kicking on the last and RTS cleaning up metres out from his line.
Both teams out of the tunnel, we're about to get back underway...
HALFTIME - An entertaining half of rugby league with both teams executing well, two tries to the Warriors is the difference as they head to the sheds. Join us back here shortly for the second 40.
39 mins - Cartwright with the no-look shortball which is well and truly forward. Opportunity lost. Just the Titans' second error of the half.
38 mins - Goal-line defence to the fore again for NZ, Cartwright rolls a grubber into the in-goal and Hiku is trapped. Perhaps one last for The GC to strike before the halftime break.
37 mins - Hurrell draws a penalty and taps and goes quickly, 10m out on the first tackle...
36 mins - Harris continues to wreak havoc down the right-hand edge, another barnstorming run which breaks down with a fumble at the play of the ball.
34 mins - Copley cut down on the 5th five metres out...Cartwright chips and Palu cleans up, the ball back inside and he's over the line but the ball spills out. Great scrambing defence from the Warriors.
33 mins - Fuistua soars to defuse the bomb and the island drums kick into life. Afoa a monster run, back to halfway...
32 mins - Titans edge their way back to halfway as the sun shines through. Cartwright to the 30m on the last...
30m - Another classic Warriors 5th tackle as the ball goes from sideline to sideline, eventually green chips over the top and they almost trap Sami in the GC in-goal.
28 mins - 5th tackle chip into the corner for Sami, and he's spilled it dead. NZ back to their own 20m, RTS right back into the thick of it as he surpasses the 100m mark already.
27 mins - Forward pass by NZ, GC will launch from the halfway mark...
26 mins - Huge hit from Luke! Rts regathers on his own 20m after a good comeback set for the Titans.
25 mins - 13 offloads to just one for the Titans, while the visitors have missed 14 tackles already. Damning numbers in favour of the locals.
23 mins - TRY WARRIORS - Beautifully worked Storm-style move as Johnson finds Green, he throws one back inside to RTA who jets through a gaping hole to score unimpeded. Johnson from right in front. Warriors 12-2
23 mins - Good energey from Blair as he muscles past halfway. Harris again in the action, 4th tackle on the GC 30m....
22 mins - Maumalo cleans up the bomb and finds RTS, more metres for the fullback as he earns his side a penalty.
20 mins - Titans restart play with a union-style kick-off, unfortunately for them there's minimal competition and the Warriors ease over halfway. Green kicks early on the third tackle, no 40/20 forthcoming.
18 mins - TRY WARRIORS - RTS sneaks through a gap, find Harris who links with Hiku on a well-timed burst, simple ball wide to Fuistua and this time he's over. Johnson slots the conversion on the angle. Warriors 6-2
17 mins - Sami looks like he may have dotted down in the corner but the ball bobbles on grounding. The Bunker take a look and it's Hiku with a brilliantly timed last gasp strip to deny the winger. Warriors breathe easy.
16 mins - Hurrell has one stripped, penalty GC.
15 mins - RTS breaks straight up the middle! Beast one, taken down at the GC 30m. Johnson to Harris to Hiku who delays the passa little too long, Fusitua caught in the corner.
14 mins - Elgey goes high but Maumalo is up to the task.
13 mins - Fantastic first three tackles but the fourth brings a spilled ball in the tackle just five metres out. The GC back to the NZ 40m on the 4th....
11 mins - Classic Warriors football! Absolutely vintage hot potato ball on the final tackle, Johnson hot-stepping across the field before Harris straightens and drops in a deft grubber, two outstretched Warriors only just fail to get a finger on a tapback. Six more for NZ.
10 mins - Kane Elgey has dived over the line right next to the posst but the referee has immediately signalled 'no try' as he refers the decision to The Bunker....and they agree. Penalty ZN and they relieve the pressure, tackle two on the 50m line after a great Gavet charge.
9 mins - Fuistua makes a kick return to the NZ 30m but is hit hard in the gang tackle and he's lost the ball. Titans take tackle one on the 30m line, hot on attack...
8 mins - To the other side they go, Warriors look to have numbers but a poor pass by RTS falls straight to Anthony Don. The Titans look to take the first tackle on their 40m line. Isaiah Papalii injured in the tackle and he's forced to limp off the field. Bad luck for the youngster who was a revelation last weekend.
7 mins - Johnson with space, finds Harris who fights for metres. Just five metres out...
6 mins - Great set for the visitors as the bomb saisl high. RTS takes it well and offloads in the same movement to Hiku who draws the penalty. Tap and go and they're at halfway.
5 mins - Hurrell makes his first carry, chews up five metres as the Titans march over halfway.
4 mins - Over it sails and Michael Gordon is one from one. Titans 2-0
3 mins - Offload put down just 10m out but the dvantage was being played, another penalty for offside. Ryan James points to the sticks, they're going to take the gift two points. Interesting option given they had all the momentum on their side.
2 mins - Titans start from the 30m line, on the attack...
1 min - Settled first set for the Warriors, Blair offloads to steal a few metres in the third tackle. Luke takes play over halfway. Johnson makes the clearance but it's a penalty to the Titans.
4:59pm - The sun breaks through in Auckland as the Warriors take the Mt. Smart turf for the first time in 2018. Here we go...
4:57pm - Titans lynchpin Ash Taylor a late scratch for the visitors. Just how much of an impact will that have on proceedings?
4:54pm - Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck with some measured words pre-match, another player who really stood out against the Rabbitohs.
4:47pm - In case you missed it, Richard Fale and his Tongan-American consortium look to be on the cusp of securing ownership of the Warriors.
One of his goals would be to allow unprecedented access to players for both fans and media, including American-style post-match locker room interviews.
he also called the Warriors "one of the best teams on planet earth." True story.
Click here to read more
4:42pm - The Mt. Smart faithful look to be out in full effect today, the crowds flocking to the gates in what looks like a walking retrospective of Warriors jerseys.
Commentary will begin around 4:40pm
Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), David Fusitu'a, Peta Hiku, Solomone Kata, Ken Maumalo, Blake Green, Shaun Johnson, James Gavet, Issac Luke, Adam Blair, Isaiah Papali'i, Tohu Harris, Ligi Sao.
Extended interchange: Sam Cook, Leivaha Pulu, Sam Lisone, Bunty Afoa, Anthony Gelling, Jazz Tevaga, Agnatius Paasi, Mason Lino.
Titans: Michael Gordon, Anthony Don, Dale Copley, Konrad Hurrell, Phillip Sami, Kane Elgey, Bryce Cartwright, Jai Arrow, Nathan Peats, Leilani Latu, Kevin Proctor, Ryan James (c), Will Matthews
Interchange: Mitch Rein, Max King, Morgan Boyle, Keegan Hipgrave
Warriors - $1.30 Titans - $3.30
Mannering happy to bide his time
Injured Warriors forward Simon Mannering is in no rush to return to the field as he nurses a shoulder injury.
The 31-year-old tweaked his shoulder during a pre-season clash against the Gold Coast Titans last month and has since been slowly working his way back to full fitness.
But after watching the Warriors' historic 32-20 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Perth, the 280-game veteran says he's happy to bide his time to ensure he is 100 percent fit.
"The initial prognosis was around that six-week mark, so hopefully not too much longer, a couple more weeks," Mannering said. "But it's a week-to-week basis.
"I've just got to progress it each week and push it to the point where I'm back close to full fitness.
"Hopefully it's not too much longer, but the guys are going really well, so there's a bit less pressure on me trying to rush back, which is nice."
Nineteen-year-old Isaiah Papali'replaced Mannering in the win over South Sydney, playing 80 minutes, running for more than 100 metres and scoring a try in the process. Mannering has heaped praise on the second-year forward.
"I thought he [Papali'i] was awesome, probably one of the best on the field.
"I'm really happy for him. He's a young kid and only played a handful of games last year, but you see the way he plays and forget he's only 19.
"He's always willing to learn and not afraid of some hard work, which is good, and it shows by the way he performs."
The Warriors face the Titans on Saturday in their first home match of the season.
All pre-purchased tickets for the match are just $15, with $5 from each ticket being donated to the New Zealand Red Cross Disaster Fund, as Cyclone Gita has left parts of Tonga in ruins.
Over 15,000 tickets have been sold for the round two encounter and Mannering hopes a big crowd will turn up, so the Warriors can try to repay the loyal fans with another strong performance.
"There's a lot of things to work on, which is good, and the challenge for us now is backing it up after a big trip home and backing up our performances, which we haven't been very good at.
"We've got to show, with our first game here at Mt Smart, what it means to us.
"It's nice [to get a big crowd], but it won't mean anything if we don't perform in front of our fans coming out to support us."