The New Zealand Warriors paid the ultimate penalty for an ill-disciplined final quarter meltdown as a resurgent Gold Coast Titans launched their National Rugby League campaign with an unlikely 24-18 victory at Skilled Park.

The Warriors surrendered 18 unanswered points from the brink of halftime - and crucially two tries during the dramatic closing stages - to mar the impressive debuts of new scrumbase combination Brett Seymour and James Maloney.

After clocking off in defence in the 40th minute, the Warriors could never reassert the dominance Maloney and Seymour provided with a precise kicking game.

The Titans, who prevailed despite a substandard 25 from 45 completion rate, regained enough ruthlessness to benefit once Lance Hohaia and Brent Tate committed unnecessary infringements at the play the ball.

Those indiscretions gifted the Titans the platform they required to square the contest in the 63rd minute.

After piggybacking 60m down field, smart handling from Scott Prince and Preston Campbell allowed Wellington-born debutant Joseph Tomane to draw two defenders before flicking a pass to David Mead who did remarkably well to avoid Manu Vatuvei and the corner flag before he forced the ball one-handed rolling backwards.

Prince's sideline conversion signalled the momentum shift, and seven minutes later the Titans took the lead for the first time when the mercurial Campbell forced a grubber to the in-goal between the sticks.

The Warriors, offensively inert for most the second spell, conjured up two long-distance raids in a quest to take the match into golden point extra time but Vatuvei was dispossessed by the diminutive Campbell when a hat-trick beckoned; Mead then came to the rescue when booting Hohaia's 77th kick ahead dead.

Derided in the lead-up to game on the basis of a forgettable 2009 season, the Warriors missed an ideal opportunity to join Newcastle as surprise round one winners.

Maloney and Seymour both produced pinpoint cross kicks for wings Vatuvei and Kevin Locke to comfortably snatch ahead of Titans defenders in the opening quarter.

Five-eighth Maloney, a recruit from the Melbourne Storm, picked out Vatuvei perfectly in the eighth minute as the Kiwis wing towered over Tomane to cross in the left hand corner.

Then it was reformed bad boy Seymour's turn to soothe the anxieties of Warriors fans when the halfback - and replacement for the legendary Stacey Jones - chipped for Locke who easily out-leapt a stationary Gordon.

Seymour's goal kicking was also flawless to give the Warriors a 12-point buffer.

It took an unorthodox restart from Campbell to finally provide some impetus when the fullback regathered on the 10-metre line to instigate a rare attacking foray that climaxed with Tomane atoning for his earlier defensive lapse by powering through Vatuvei.

Campbell then turned from hero to villain, a muffed bomb the catalyst for four Warriors' sets. The pressure finally told in the 33rd minute when Seymour latched on to his own deflected chip and hopefully flung the ball wide for Vatuvei to grab and wheel past from Tomane and Mead from a standing start.

At 18-6 the Warriors went close through another Seymour cross kick aimed at Locke but crucially Gordon defused the danger and the Warriors discipline and defence wavered as the Titans swept 90m downfield before Anthony Laffranchi strolled through a gaping hole of the right flank to cross near the posts.

Seymour, thrown a career lifeline after being dumped by the Broncos and Cronulla, admitted the first start for his new club was disappointing.

"We switched off before halftime and it's come back to bite us on the bum, we just had that little lapse," he said.

The oppressive South Queensland heat, a concern before the afternoon kick-off, never eventuated though muggy conditions contributed to a high error rate.

The Warriors host the Sharks in Auckland next week, hopeful captain Simon Mannering (hamstring) will be available though prop Steve Price remains doubtful with a heel injury.

- NZPA