Coach Stephen Kearney branded the Warriors' second half capitulation as "soft" following their embarrassing 36-12 NRL defeat to the Titans on the Gold Coast this afternoon.

The loss came after the Warriors led 12-8 at halftime before collapsing to concede five unanswered tries at Cbus Super Stadium.

The Warriors had plenty of time to turn things around as the clock wound down but their forwards failed to generate momentum and playmakers Shaun Johnson and Blake Green and captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck were unable to inspire a comeback.

The visitors might have been missing Kiwi international forwards Issac Luke (calf), Tohu Harris (knee) and Adam Blair (suspension) but still possessed enough experience and attacking weapons to better threaten the second-worst defensive side in the competition.

Advertisement

The result gave the Titans their biggest win over the Warriors while the Auckland outfit have now lost four of their past five matches.

The defeat leaves the Warriors in eighth spot on the premiership ladder but they remain vulnerable with Wests Tigers lurking four points behind with five rounds left in the regular season.

Kearney was at a loss to explain the drop in performance which conjured memories of their recent loss to Penrith and admitted his players had failed to aim up to leave their finals hopes in jeopardy.

"I'm still trying to figure that out," Kearney said.

"It was very disappointing the second half and there were signs of it in the first half.

"It's been a real concern for us, getting ourselves in situations a bit like that, it was similar to the match against the Panthers three weeks ago.

"I don't like using the word but I thought it was pretty soft in the second half."

Tuivasa-Sheck agreed with Kearney's assessment and admitted their big guns failed to take charge while they were 26-12 down heading into the final quarter.

"We spoke about it and a few of us agree with that," said Tuivasa-Sheck.

"We didn't play so well and were disappointed and some of us didn't step up when the Titans were on a roll."

It took just six minutes for the NRL's worrying trend of controversial refereeing decisions to rear its head again, when Warriors defender Joseph Vuna was pushed to the turf by a decoy runner in the lead-up to Konrad Hurrell scoring the home side's first try.

Video referee Henry Perenara decided "minimal contact" had been made by Titans forward Keegan Hipgrave and gave the green light, before the Warriors levelled up following their first try to Johnson.

The Titans edged ahead 8-6 with a penalty goal to fullback Michael Gordon but the Warriors hit back with bench hooker Karl Lawton scoring against his former club to put them four points ahead at halftime.

It all fell apart once the second half began with Titans centre Brenko Lee creating a try for wing Anthony Don, before stealing an intercept to run in their third to put them eight points clear.

The home side continued to grow in confidence with flimsy defence helping them post a fourth try to playmaker AJ Brimson, before left wing Phillip Sami scored twice to close the door nine minutes before fulltime.

The Warriors will search for answers while they remain in camp across the Tasman before next Saturday's daunting away match against St George Illawarra in Wollongong.

Titans 36 (Phillip Sami 2, Konrad Hurrell, Anthony Don, Brenko Lee, AJ Brimson tries; Michael Gordon 5/6 cons, 1/2 pens)
Warriors 12 (Shaun Johnson, Karl Lawton tries; Johnson 2 cons)