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Warriors 19 Titans 6
Warriors (Sironen, Ah Mau, Nikorima tries; Nikorima 3 conversions, Harris-Tavita field goal)
Titans (Thompson try; Fogarty conversion)
80 mins - FIELD GOAL WARRIORS to Chanel Harris-Tavita.
After the sides trade sets to run to down the clock, Harris-Tavita slots a field goal from 20m out centre field as the siren goes to put the cherry on top of the cake. (WAR 19-6)
77 mins - The Titans are throwing everything at the Warriors as they go straight back on the attack. On the final play, Fogarty puts a cross-field kick. Maumalo spills the kick but Aitken picks up the scraps and somehow gets out of the in-goal area.
The home side gets a relieving penalty, which should see them home.
75 mins - TRY GOLD COAST TITANS to Corey Thompson
The Warriors finally crack after mountains of defence. After a penalty on the final tackle invited more pressure on the home side, Brimson threw a great cut out pass to find Thompson in space and he crashes over.
Fogarty converts the try (WAR 18-6).
73 mins - The Warriors go straight back onto the attack on the first set after points. They get down to the 20m line where Nikorima puts a bomb up and Don takes it inches out from his line.
71 mins - TRY WARRIORS to Kodi Nikorima
The Warriors on a roll as they get their third for the afternoon. Bunty Afoa charges onto a short ball from Harris-Tavita and he sticks his head through the line. He gets his arms free and offloads to Nikorima who strolls over next to the posts.
Nikorima converts his own try. (WAR 18-0)
69 mins - On the next set the Warriors get down to the Titans line. On the final play, Nikroima dinks one through and the home side trap Brimson in-goal for a goal line drop out.
68 mins - The Warriors are struggling slightly with players struggling with fatigue from all the defending. On the fourth tackle, Fonua-Blake tries to offload but Erin Clark gets a hand on it and knocks it on.
Warriors will have a scrum 40m out.
66 mins - The Warriors looking dangerous just metres out from the Titans line. On the final play, Fonua-Blake tries to crash over but is held up over the line.
63 mins - The side are going set-for-set after the drinks break, with the game being played in between the sides 20m lines. The Titans blink first with Fotuaika making a simple error and the Warriors will build their attack on halfway.
60 mins - The Warriors defence continues to stand up to everything the Titans throw at them. The Titans charge downfield and former Warrior Erin Clark goes inches short on the final tackle as he tries to crash his way over.
With 20 minutes gone in the second half, the referee calls the final drinks break of the contest.
58 mins - The Warriors are starting to get back in the grind and get downfield with ease. Tuivasa-Sheck puts a nice kick in behind looking for Aitken but the ball beats him into touch with the line open
Wayde Egan won't be back after failing his HIA.
56 mins - A great first set after points from the Warriors as they get down to the Titans 30m line.
A slight concern for the Auckland side with Nikorima down with cramp but looks like he should be able to soldier on.
53 mins - TRY WARRIORS to Lesson Ah Mau
The Titans have had all the ball and all the field position but at the first opportunity, the Warriors make the Titans pay. Very similar to the first try, a short ball from Tevaga to Ah Mau sees him crash over.
Nikorima converts the try. (WAR 12-0)
51 mins - The Warriors make their way downfield easily and a nice high kick from Nikorima sees Don put down the kick. On the first tackle, the Titans give away a penalty for an illegal strip and the Warriors will tap and go 10m out.
50 mins - On the third tackle Fifita sticks his head through the line but a strong tackle from Hiku forces the ball free to ease the pressure on his side.
49 mins - All the play has been played in the Warriors half since the players come out for the second spell. Nikorima makes a simple error to invite more pressure on his side.
The Titans set on the back of the Nikorima error, sees them stroll down field and force their fifth goal-line drop out.
47 mins - Warriors give away another penalty for taking a Titans player out. Anthony Don was cashing a Taylor high kick and Harris-Tavita put his leg out to trip him.
The referee puts him on report and the Titans will have another attack on the Warriors line.
44 mins - The Titans are looking dangerous on the attack. They work a great attack coming from left to right.
Great hands from Taylor finds Herbert, he just has to draw and pass the final Warriors defender but throws the pass forward. Big let off for the Kiwi side.
43 mins - Off the back of a strong run from David Fifita as the Titans just 20m out on the final tackle. A pinpoint cross-field kick finds Herbt but he knocks on in the contest with Maumalo before Proctor dives in it to score but it's ruled out.
But the away side will have a penalty for a tackle off the ball in the lad up.
Kick off - Hiku gets the second half with a long kick down to the Titans in-goal area.
Half time - What an opening half for the Warriors. The first 15 minutes went set-for-set for both sides not making any errors in sapping conditions. The Auckland club struck first through Sironen who crashed over for his first try in Warriors colours on his debut.
The Titans finished strongly with tree repeat sets on the Warriors line but the Aucklanders stoically held on to take a 6-0 lead into the sheds.
40 mins - A tired mistake from Tuivasa-Sheck who puts down a simple pass to ease the pressure on the Titans with just 20 seconds till half time.
38 mins - More good defence from the Warriors force Fogarty to put his final tackle kick dead in goal and the home side will get a seven tackle set.
37 mins - The Warriors do so well holding on for three straight sets as they bring the ball back out of trouble with just three minutes till half-time. The kick on the final tackle from Nikorima forces Brimson back to his own goal line
36 mins - The Titans are looking dangerous with two repeat sets as the away side win a set resart kate in the tackle count.
The Warriors do well to hang on by the Titans force their fourth goal line drop out.
34 mins - Nikorima puts another nice grubber which looks like it'll trap him in goal. Brimson shows good footwork to break clear before offloading to Thompson who gets down to halfway.
The Titans travel 100m on the set to force a repeat set.
30 mins - Another good attacking set from the Warriors sees Nikorima on the final play step inside and put a nice grubber to force a repeat set.
The Warriors make a meal of the dropout and it bounces into touch. Titans get the ball back on their 30m line.
28 mins - It goes from bad to worse for the Titans with former Warrior Patrick Herbert kicking the ball easily over the sideline and the Warriors will start their set 30m out.
27 mins - TRY WARRIORS - Bayley Sironen
The Warriors get the first points in Gosford. Off the back of an error, Sironen charges onto a short ball from Egan and spins out of two tackles to crash over next to the post.
Nikorima converts the try from right in front. (WAR 6-0)
26 mins - The Warriors have no issues getting down the field and on the final play again Harris-Tavita puts a terrible kick in and the Titans will start their set 5m out from their line but they make an error in the second tackle to invite more pressure.
23 mins - What a try saving tackle from Tuivasa-Sheck. Taylor sneaks in behind and with the line at his mercy, the Warriors captain comes from noway to stop a certain try.
On the final play, Fogarty puts a bomb into the in-goal area and Maumalo knocks it dead for another repeat seat. On tackle two Peta Hiku smashes Fa'asuamaleaui to force the error.
21 mins - The Titans go straight down the other end. Taylor puts a nice grubber in behind and Tuivasa-Sheck is trapped in goal for a goal-line drop out.
The sides will take a water break at the halfway point of the first half as temperatures are above 30 degrees on the Central Coast.
20 mins - Fonua-Blake looks good for the Warriors consistently breaking tackles and already having three offloads.
The final tackle sees Nikorima put a pinpoint kick that land sinches short of the line. Fusitu'a can't handle the high kick with the line at his mercy.
17 mins - A good attacking set from the Warriors ends with Katoa going inches short on the final play after a nice short pass from Harris-Tavita.
16 mins - Finally after 15 minutes the Warriors win a penalty at the ruck to bring to the end a long passage of pay. Tuivasa-Sheck finds touch on his sides 40m line.
14 mins - Both sides are starting to really struggle with the consistent run of play with players lying all of the ruck. There has been just the one stoppage of play in the opening 14 minutes.
12 mins - The Warriors starting to get their offload game going. The Kiwi club can't capitalise with some poor final play kicks from Nikorima and Harris-Tavita
10 mins - Both sides have started the contest well, going set-to-set completing their opening five sets without an error.
7 mins - The Titans counter-attack well and get down to the Warriors 20. Fogarty puts a bomb up and Brimson bats it back to Kelly. He finds space down the right and goes for the line but is thrown into touch.
5 mins - The first attacking set comes to nothing on just the second tackle. A poor pass from Nikorima goes to the feet of Aitken and he can't handle it.
4 mins - On the Warriors second set, Nikorima outs up an attacking bomb but is taken out late and the Kiwi side will have a penalty just 10m out.
2 mins - The Warriors forwards ake a strong start getting down to the Titans 30m line. Nikorima puts in an attacking kick and Hiku tries to bat it back in the field of play but it bounces into touch five metres out.
Kickoff - The Titans will get us underway through Ash Taylor and he goes long with the Warriors getting first crack with the ball.
5:00pm - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jamal Fogarty lead their sides out to a perfect Gosford day. 29 degrees and not a breath of wind.
4:50pm - Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will be looking to start his final season with the club on with an impressive performance. He enjoys playing the Titans, having scored six tries in his past seven games against Gold Coast.
4:45pm - The Warriors have comfirmed their 17 and they're as they listed earlier in the week.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the NRL season-opening clash between NZ Warriors and Gold Coast Titans at Central Coast Stadium.
The Warriors have been forced to relocate across the ditch for the 2021 season and have again made Central Coast Stadium their home venue.
The Kiwi club made their home-away-from-home a fortress last season, with eight wins and just the solitary loss against Paramatta Eels, and they'll hope to do the same this year.
The Auckland outfit welcome Nathan Brown as the new man to steer the ship, taking over from stand-in coach Todd Payten, who joined rivals North Queensland Cowboys.
Brown brought in seven high-profile additions to make the Warriors genuine top-eight contenders with four making the matchday 17, while they welcome back David Fusitu'a, Ken Maumalo and Lesson Ah Mau, who were all unavailable for most of last season.
The big inclusion is hooker Wayde Egan, who looked in serious doubt with an elbow injury, but has been cleared fit to play.
The Titans have also been active in the market, welcoming two high-profile signings into their line-up - David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.
Warriors: 1-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2-David Fusitu'a, 3-Euan Aitken, 4-Peta Hiku, 5-Ken Maumalo, 6-Kodi Nikorima, 7-Chanel Harris-Tavita, 8-Addin Fonua-Blake, 9-Wayde Egan, 10-Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11-Eliesa Katoa, 12-Bayley Sironen, 13-Tohu Harris
Interchange: 14-Jazz Tevaga, 15-Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16- Lesson Ah Mau, 17-Bunty Afoa
Gold Coast Titans: 1-Alexander Brimson, 2-Anthony Don, 3-Brian Kelly, 4-Patrick Herbert, 5-Corey Thompson, 6-Ash Taylor, 7-Jamal Fogarty (c), 8-Jarrod Wallace, 9-Mitch Rein, 10-Moeaki Fotuaika, 11-Kevin Proctor, 12-David Fifita, 13-Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
Interchange: 14-Tyrone Peachey, 15-Sam Lisone, 16-Jaimin Jolliffe, 17-Erin Clark
TAB odds: Warriors: $1.97, Titans: $1.79
Harris-Tavita ready to step into Warriors leadership role
NZ Warriors halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita has found his voice and is ready to become a leader in the upcoming NRL season.
After spending much of the 2020 season behind Blake Green, Harris-Tavita has emerged from Green’s shadow, ready to step up.
"I think I had to get better when Blake Green left," Harris-Tavita says. "He’d played 250 games and losing that amount of experience, somebody had to lift their game and I had to take my game to another level."
While he has the confidence in his skillset, the vocal part of his game is something he’s looking to continue improving.
"Being the halfback, you've got to be the loudest voice in the team and people are looking to you to guide the team around the park," he says. "It's part of my development and work for this year."
And Harris-Tavita has the backing of new permanent halves partner Kodi Nikorima, with the pair - if healthy - likely to lead the Warriors around the field together this season.
"This year, he's certainly found his voice," Nikorima says. "I actually noticed at the back end of last year - when Greeny left, he [Harris-Tavita] definitely stepped up and made my job easier."
The pair are relishing the chance to play together, rather than competing for one spot, like they were last year.
“It's been awesome, it's been our first pre-season spent together,” Nikorima says. "Last year, we were both fighting it out for the No.6 jersey.
"To get all those reps that we didn't have last year will definitely help us moving forward this year."
The pair are looking forward to building as a partnership, but also as individuals. Nikorima’s first full season with the Warriors last year was the one he was most happy with.
"I mentioned last year was probably my most consistent year," Nikorima says. "I don't want to rest on that though, I want to continue to grow my game and go to another level this year."
The two players are critical to the Warriors success in 2021.
"Our halves have to be firing this year," Harris-Tavita says. "Every year, I've got to take my game to another level."
If the Warriors halves can take their game to the level they want, you can bet the players around them will follow.