NRL: Stats favour Warriors in Titans clash

The Warriors have won 10 of the last 11 matches against the Gold Coast Titans heading into this weekend's clash. Photo / Getty
The Warriors have won 10 of the last 11 matches against the Gold Coast Titans heading into this weekend's clash. Photo / Getty

The statistics are on the Warriors' side in their trek to the Gold Coast - despite the hype around Jarryd Hayne.

The Auckland-based NRL franchise has won their last five visits to Cbus Super Stadium on the tourist strip.

But the Titans' 18-18 extra-time draw with competition leaders Cronulla on Monday night and the presence of Hayne means the Warriors will be in for a battle.

Gold Coast are outright seventh on the competition ladder on 23 points, one ahead of the eighth-placed Warriors.

And then confidence quite understandably was catapulted into the upper stratosphere when the Titans revealed Hayne's signing on Wednesday.

It has ensured this will be Gold Coast's biggest occasion against any side since they beat the Warriors 28-16 in their finals match in Robina in 2010. That match attracted a crowd of 27,026 and Hayne's arrival will drive the biggest attendance since then tomorrow.

While there's a buoyant mood on the Gold Coast, the week has been a mixed one for the Warriors.

It kicked off with Shaun Johnson's 55th career try giving the club a 20-16 extra-time win over Penrith, a critical result in their campaign to reach the finals.

It was the first time since 2009 (a 17-16 win over the Sydney Roosters) and only the third time in total that the Warriors have played a golden point game at Mount Smart Stadium. Their other 11 extra-time contests have all been away games, including four this year.

However, the excitement was overtaken by Ben Henry announcing injury had forced him to make the decision to retire at the end of the season.

Then on Friday it was revealed vastly-experienced hooker Issac Luke would need knee surgery which would sideline him for a month.

It's a setback for the Warriors as they eye an enormous challenge from an in-form Gold Coast side.

The two teams have been tracking much the same ever since their bye in round 12.
The Warriors have put together a run of five wins and three golden point losses since the start of June. Put another way, they haven't been beaten in regulation time once in their last eight games, a period in which they've conceded just 136 points, an average of only 17 points a game. Together with points from their byes, they've collected 14 points from their last 10 rounds to move to 22.

At the same time the Titans have fashioned a record of four wins, a draw and three losses - 29-28 over South Sydney away, 12-22 against Parramatta away, 30-10 at home against Manly, 22-30 against Canberra at home, 18-27 away to the Warriors, 32-12 over St George Illawarra away, 34-14 against Parramatta at home and 18-18 with Cronulla at home.

Tomorrow the Titans can look forward to their third straight home game but know the Warriors have a healthy record against them and also attract a level of support which routinely drowns out the locals (although the Hayne factor will likely tip the balance this time).

Of the last 11 matches between the two clubs the Warriors have won 10 including five straight in Robina.

Warriors v Gold Coast | Away Wins

At Cbus Super Stadium, Robina:

May 8, 2001 - Warriors 34, Gold Coast 14
July 12, 2012 - Warriors 32, Gold Coast 14
August 24, 2013 - Warriors 24, Gold Coast 22
May 24, 2014 - Warriors 24, Gold Coast 16
June 20, 2015 - Warriors 36, Gold Coast 14

At Gold Coast Stadium, Carrara:

June 30, 2007 - Warriors 22, Gold Coast 6

Five Key Features

#1 Solomone Kata | It's a big day out for Kata who oozes aggression in all he does and also matches it with durability, having missed just one match since his debut last year. This time he matches up against fellow Tonga international Konrad Hurrell.

#2 Shaun Johnson | The side's focal playmaking option had an outstanding all-round game against Penrith quite apart from his match-winning extra-time heroics. The display earned him the player of the day award from his team-mates and coaching staff.

#3 Bodene Thompson | Called in late after an injury lay-off, Thompson impressed on the right edge against the Panthers. There's special interest in this clash as he lines up against the club he made 49 appearances for from 2009-2013.

#4 Albert Vete | Like Thompson, Vete recovered from injury to make his return against the Panthers last week. He was superb in his stints, making 145 metres from 17 runs and adding 21 tackles in the 38 minutes he had on the field.

#5 Nathaniel Roache | With Issac Luke now on the injured list, the 2016 rookie is in contention to make the first starting appearance in his first NRL game in five weeks. His seven previous games have all been from the bench. Outstanding for NYC side last week.

- NZ Herald

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