The NZ Warriors have thrown away a near-perfect start to be run down by the Gold Coast Titans, 16-12 at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night.
Two tries in the opening nine-minutes had the Warriors on track for a dominant win, but they failed to capitalise on a wealth of possession and several opportunities in the remainder of the first spell.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scored before the Titans had completed a tackle with ball in hand, which was followed shortly after by Ken Maumalo's third try in two weeks.
The Warriors continued to boss the game through a dominant forward pack, led by Tohu Harris and hooker Wayde Egan, but the Titans continued to resist.
Winger Anthony Don scored with the Titans first venture into Warriors territory off the back of an attacking scrum and with 20 minutes to play in the half, the Titans were somehow within six.
Penrith loan player Jake Hetherington, who was impressive for the second straight week, thought he had his first try in Warriors colours on the half-hour mark. The towering forward capitalised on a Titans error with a wayward pass bouncing into the in-goal.
However, the video referee decided he had pushed Titans fullback Corey Thompson in the scramble to the ball and the four-pointer was scrubbed out.
Leading 12-6 at the half, the Warriors came out of the sheds lethargic and were made to pay when a piece of Tyrone Peachey magic brought the home side within two points.
Halfback Ash Taylor's stabbing kick looked to have too much on it, but Peachey charged through, flicked the ball back before crossing the dead ball line and second-row forward Sam Stone dotted down for the try.
The Titans would dominate the final 30 minutes, without ever seriously threatening the Warriors line in a mistake-ridden second half. But Tuivasa-Sheck's shoddy handling of a Don kick with seven minutes to go proved the final blow for the Titans.
Halfback Jamal Fogarty's final play kick was batted back by Blake Green, but the ball held up enough for centre Bo Fermor to dive on the ball inches before the line.
The Warriors had a chance late in the piece when Pita Hiku found a gap in the defensive line, but he couldn't offload to an unmarked Maumalo and the game was done.
It will be a hugely disappointed Warriors side that heads back to the Central Coast.
The club was looking to capitalise on a fantastic result seven days ago against the Brisbane Broncos and potentially launch a finals push, but with the in-form Sharks and high-flying Roosters beckoning in the next two weeks, the hurt is set to grow for the beleaguered club.
Titans 16 (Don, Stone, Fermor tries, Taylor con, Fogarty con) Warriors 12 (Tuivasa-Sheck, Maumalo tries, Harris-Tavita 2 con) HT - Warriors 12-6