Titans 16
Warriors 12

Todd Payten's bid to land the Warriors head coaching job struck a major hurdle as his side suffered a messy 16-12 defeat against the Gold Coast Titans.

The Titans, who keep living down to their reputation as the NRL's worst team, were hardly great against a Warriors team which stalled badly.

The Warriors haven't won two in a row since May last year but had a royal chance on the Gold Coast, after a terrific win over the Broncos last week in Payten's second game in charge.


An inexplicable Roger Tuivasa-Sheck drop in the 73rd minute as the Titans scrambled to make something happen on the final tackle summed up a shambles of a game.

Blake Green compounded the problem by trying to palm the ball a record distance over the dead ball line. Beau Fermor struck for the try. The Warriors, who were scoreless for the final 71 minutes after a great start, were beaten yet again.

Interim coach Payten was officially told on Thursday he would be interviewed for the top job. This was a move from club chief executive Cameron George to remove any unnecessary distractions for the rookie coach.

Contrary to a report out of Australia during the week, sources rejected the claim that a shortlist has been drawn up already. Names are still coming in apparently. Sea Eagles assistant coach John Cartwright, a former Kangaroos forward and Titans head coach, is the latest believed added to a list which could number at least 15.

Interviews are likely to be held over the next fortnight and Payten needs to make every post a winner against more experienced applicants.

His side didn't do him any major favours on the Gold Coast, as he became yet another coach no doubt dumbfounded by the Warriors' form riddle.

The Warriors' fast start was a distant memory by the third quarter, when Tyrone Peachey's acrobatics created a try for forward Sam Stone. Ash Taylor's poor conversion attempt left the Warriors with a 12-10 advantage, but the home side had momentum in their favour.

The first half bordered on comical, although not for the coaches.


The Warriors got off to a flying start and the Titans could barely complete a set. Yet by halftime, the Warriors led just 12-6.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scores. Photo / Photosport
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scores. Photo / Photosport

Looking suitably stressed, Titans coach Justin Holbrook saw his side find all manner of ways to give the ball back to the Warriors.

The visitors could, should, have been leading by about 20 at the break against a side which had nervously selected two forwards in the centres and had newcomer Treymain Spry on the left wing.

These issues were big factors in the early flow in favour of the Warriors. Tuivasa-Sheck scored the first from a scrum. A sharp pass from Peta Hiku set up the second for Ken Maumalo, who made a sharp catch before twisting over the line in the ninth minute.

The flow of errors from the Titans included a stupid captain's challenge, but they found some momentum and took advantage of poor scrum defence to score through wing Anthony Don after David Fusitu'a failed to catch a towering Taylor bomb.

The Warriors came close on a number of other occasions. They also had a try harshly ruled out for obstruction, after Bryce Cartwright had hurled the ball out of a tackle, and did not receive a single penalty the entire match.


The first half finished with both sides fluffing play-the-balls, mistakes which would have made a schoolboy coach fume.

Titans 16 (A. Don, S Stone, B. Fermor tries; A. Taylor, J. Fogarty goals)
Warriors 12 (R Tuivasa-Sheck, K. Maumalo tries; C. Harris-Tavita 2 goals)
Halftime: 6-12