The Warriors have produced exactly what they needed – a superb performance to crush the Titans 42 – 0 at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Warriors were absolutely brutal out on the right wing, abusing the Titans defence throughout and notching up four of their seven tries out on the flank. The scoring started early with Ben Henry crossing over within the opening three minutes after a lovely wrap-around move between Lillyman and Friend. The second came only minutes later as the returning Dominique Peyroux found himself on the end of some slick passing to rumble over from close range in the 9th minute.
The early onslaught continued in the 17th minute as Nathan Friend doubled his season try scoring tally after finding the line from a dummy half dash! (Man, don’t you love seeing old Friendy score a cheeky four pointer? A thing of beauty).
The Titans didn’t really seem to have any response as they were punished again on the right wing in the 34rd minute with Tomkins crossing over for his first of the day. The Titans defence was again beaten by a wrap-around as the Warriors raced out to a 24 – 0 score line.
Hurrell was next on the scoresheet, notching up the fifth four pointer of the day in the 37th minute. Hurrell collected a short ball from Tomkins and raced over the line – pretty much unimpeded – to give the Warriors a 30 – 0 lead at the break.
They carried on from where they left off in the second half – scoring their next try in the 47th minute. Tomkins rose highest to collect a Shaun Johnson kick on the left hand side and score his second of the day.
36 – 0 and the Warriors looked like they were playing against the clock. They scored one more in the 49th minute with Shaun Johnson showing us that his groin injury isn’t troubling him by putting on the afterburners to race 40-odd meters for the seventh try of the day and recording 20 points to his name.
The last 30 minutes was as entertaining as any but the Warriors were unable to add to their total. The Mt Smart demolition has kept the Warriors well and truly in finals contention, and has them producing the kind of form needed before they face the Panthers in the final round of the season.
Can I just say (of course I can) – how good was Manu!? The big man ran for a total of 212 meters (William Zillman was second in the game 145). That is a massive effort from the big man on the wing. In fact, the Warriors had six players run more than 100 meters for the game – notching up a total of 1448 meters to the Gold Coast’s 1073.
The Warriors also conceded fewer penalties, made fewer errors, kept more possession, made fewer tackles, and forced more line drop-outs than the Titans. Overall, they dominated in almost every department. They produced some slick moves, precision passing, and strong running to show us that they have regained their mojo following a few tough weeks.
We needed this, we really needed this (especially after the last weeks beat down). Now, we head to Sportingbet Stadium to face the fourth placed Panthers. A win will see us in the 8 and playing finals football (yea – there are other scenarios but I hate doing math! Let’s go for the win and keep it simple!!)
Check out these highlights if you missed the match