A potentially serious knee injury to impact forward Sione Lousi marred the New Zealand Warriors opening pre-NRL season trial on the Gold Coast.
Lousi, who has played 31 first grade games, collapsed in agony after being tackled while making a hit up in the 52nd minute and needed to be assisted from Burleigh Head's Pizzey Park.
Fortunately he did not require the stretcher provided on the sideline but spent the remainder of the match disconsolate on the bench with his right knee heavily iced.
David Fusitua crossed moments after the restart as the Warriors scored a quick-fire brace but after bridging the gap to 24-16 another defensive error allowed Mark O'Dare to spike the Warriors resurgence.
The concession of three more unanswered tries indicated a blow out but late tries to Ngani Laumape and Atelea Nafetalai at least added a measure of respectability.
The Warriors made a deceptively encouraging start by scoring with their first possession when Alehana Mara surged through a gaping hole on the 30-metre line and fed Pita Godinet - another of the small contingent of first graders in action -- to cruise to the posts.
Harry Siejka, an off-season acquisition from Penrith added the extras and also played solidly in the halves alongside Godinet in the opening quarter.
The Warriors - a conglomeration of players with NRL experience and under-20s personnel - dominated the early stages but two of the "star" players then contributed to the Titans gathering momentum.
Injury-prone wing Anthony Don embarrassed Carlos Tuimavave with an outside swerve towards the end of his 65-metre run down the right flank in the 16th minute to cancel out Godinet's opener.
Glen Fisiiahi, another of the Warriors next generation of outside backs, was then guilty of hoping a Jordan Rankin grubber would go dead only for Steve Michaels to press the ball centimetres inside the in goal.
Laumape then produced an error befitting his rookie status when he dropped a straight forward kick less than 10m from his line - the platform the Titans required for hooker Beau Falloon to plough over from close range.
The Titans led 18-6 at halftime and added another converted try six minutes after the resumption when gifted by field position by a shoulder charge by Sam Lousi - the first indication the brothers were in for a tough night.
O'Dare was the beneficiary of Lousi's indiscretion when an Albert Kelly put him over wide out.
With unlimited interchanges available and a squad designed to improve depth the Warriors coaching staff would not be too concerned - outside of Lousi's demise.
Mara and Godinet both had their moments at dummy half as the Warriors seek an early season replacement for Nathan Friend as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Elliott summons his regular first graders for next Saturday's trial with the Panthers in Hamilton.
Gold Coast Titans 42 (Mark O'Dare 2, Anthony Don 2, Steve Michaels, Beau Falloon, Jordan Rankin tries; Beau Henry 4 goals; Jordan Rankin 3 goals)
NZ Warriors 24(Pita Godinet, David Fusitua, Konrad Hurrell, Ngani Laumape, Atelea Nafetalai tries; Harry Siejka goal, Godinet goal)
- © Fairfax NZ News
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