Round 2 Preview: New Zealand Warriors vs Gold Coast Titans

New Zealand Warriors v Gold Coast Titans 
Mt Smart Stadium 
Saturday 17 March 
                                           3:00pm (NSW), 2:00pm (QLD) 5:00pm (NZ) 

Wins Both of these sides are tipped to be low on the table come the end of the season but both kick started heir campaigns off in the right direction with wins. This game would’ve been one to skip over last season but these teams could put on quite a show for us over the ditch. The Warriors rolled through the Bunnies last week while their opponents the Titans had to claw back an 18 point deficit to get their win in round 1. 

Key Match Up: Solomone Kata v Konrad Hurrell 
Theses 2 nuggety centres were both great in their sides wins. Hurrell scored the match winner off a nicely placed Ashley Taylor grubber while his Warriors counterpart scored a bustling try in the 53rd minute to push the Warriors ahead 6 tries to 2. Hopefully we see a dynamite match up here. Both love to bustle their way through opponents and I’m sure we will see plenty of defenders left in their wake on Saturday afternoon.

Match up 2: Tohu Harris v Ryan James 
Harris showed why he is being paid good money to leave the comforts of a stacked Storm side to help the Warriors. Above 90% tackle efficiency to go with a try assist and running for 132 metres is no stat line to be laughed at. Bringing a class and polish to the Warriors back row. Ryan James was close to best man on ground in the Raiders v Titans match, and I can see him going close again in this one. 

Playing on the edge suits James’ style of running and also packing a sneaky offload at times his half and fullback will be sniffing around to get those passes and capitalise on them against a Warriors outfit that have a couple of centres that aren’t the most competent defenders. 

Prediction: This is a hard one to tip but I can’t go past the home side. Although the Titans were great against a big Raiders pack on Sunday night I feel Warriors could be a bit too much for them to handle. Warriors by 6 

- Nath


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