Warriors coach Nathan Brown proud of well earned win over Titans

Warriors coach Nathan Brown thought the clubs 19-6 win over the Titans on Saturday night was one that they earned.
It was a game that only really came to life in the second half, with a try to new recruit Bayley Sironen being the only score during the opening 40 minutes.

However, for all the game the Warriors forwards dominated the game and they got their reward for this with tries to Leeson Ah-Mau in the 51st minute and Kodi Nikorima 17 minutes later.

Hopes that the Warriors might keep the Titans scoreless were dashed seven minutes from time when Corey Thompson picked up a consolation try for the Titans.

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It wasnt a thrilling game and wingers Ken Maumalo and David Fusitua often had to come inside to look for work, but it was a great way for Brown to start his tenure as Warriors coach.

Ashley Feder/Getty Images
Leeson Ah Mau missed most of last season with an injury, but made his mark in the first game of the 2021 campaign.

We certainly earned everything out there, Brown said.

We had a lot of defence to do and we lost a few players with head knocks early in the second half (Wayde Egan and Bayley Sironen) and the boys kept turning up for each other.

That was the key to our victory and we were very gritty.

I would like to think that over the course of the year that the other parts of the game combinations will improve down the track, but we played a pretty simple game and at the end of the day our effort and commitment in defence is what earned us the win.

The Warriors dont look like the finished product, but then this was just the first game of the season and with the forward pack theyve now got, its obvious that Brown wants to make the most of their strength.

Weve got some new staff, new players, a lot of new combinations and some younger players in key positions, who havent played much football together. Brown said.

So it was about us starting the year how we did and build on it.

Ashley Feder/Getty Images
Former Warrior Patrick Herbert and his new Titans team-mates struggled to get through the Warriors defence.

There were four Warriors players making their debuts for the club; Sironen, Addin Fonua-Blake, Euan Aitken and Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Fonua-Blake was the stand out, not just among these players, but among everyone.

He ran for 202 metres, made five tackle breaks and four offloads.

So Warriors fans should be rubbing their hands with glee about what hell bring to the team.

All of our new recruits were really good and Addin is a high quality player, Brown said.

"Bayley came to us from Souths and is 20 something (25) games into his career and was very good.

Unfortunately we lost him for a period of time and Euan Aitken played with an injury. He stayed on the field when in normal circumstances, if we didnt lose the blokes we did, we would have replaced him.

Ben Murdoch-Masila was great too, in his first game back in the NRL for five or six years.

Having been sacked by the Knights two years ago, this was a welcome return to the NRL for Brown and he clearly enjoyed being involved again.

I wouldnt be back doing it if I didnt miss it, he said.

Last year, having the year off was good. I did many different jobs and like a lot of people, when Covid started, I lost a lot of jobs.

I did many different things to get by and also spent time with my family, which was great.

But I still like coaching, like all of the boys that coach, were lucky to have a job and theres not many of them.

Whilst weve got them, we certainly cherish them.

Meanwhile, Titans coach Justin Holbrook didnt have any problem admitting that his team were beaten by a better team.

We knew how the Warriors were going to play but youre still got to stop them and we couldnt do that, Holbrook said.

Whenever youre behind in those conditions youre trying to come up with stuff with the ball and we couldnt do it.

We had a couple of chances, but outside of that it was a real tough game and they played it better than us.


Warriors 19 (Bayley Sironen, Leeson Ah Mau, Kodi Nikorima tries; Nikorima 3 goals, Chanel Harris-Tavita field goal). Titans 6 (Corey Thompson try; Jamal Fogarty goal). HT: 6-0


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