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Titans sign off with golden point win while Warriors squander lead in Walsh’s farewell




Gold Coast have ended their underwhelming NRL season with a comeback 27-26 golden-point NRL win over the Warriors in Auckland.

A beautifully-taken Tanah Boyd field goal from 40 metres out was the difference after fellow strugglers the Warriors blew what looked a comfortable lead at a packed Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

It wasn’t the way the home fans wanted to say goodbye to their fullback Reece Walsh, who played his final game for the club today after signing on with the Brisbane Broncos for next season.

In only their fourth game at home this year, many in the crowd were treated with free tickets, which went some way to tempering the mood of disgruntled Warriors fans, who learned during the week that the club would not be hosting any extra home games next season despite having played the majority of the last three years in Australia.

They didn’t have to wait long to turn their frowns upside down. 

A bust from Eli Katoa after only four minutes led to a quick play the ball, which Walsh used beautifully to send Jesse Arthars over for the first points.

Walsh was in the action only a few minutes later, collecting a spilled ball at the back by Jayden Campbell then flicking a behind-the-back pass for crowd favourite Josh Curran to rumble over. 

When Dallin Watene-Zelezniak crossed in the corner off a scrum, the Warriors were up 16-0 and enjoying their best start to a game all year.

They should have made all the pressure they enjoyed for the first half hour count for more,  but the Titans finally woke up and created enough space for Alex Brimson to squeeze over next to the posts. 

However, some messy work off another Warriors kick saw Curran get to the ball first and make the score 20-6 to the home side at the break.

The Titans came out fizzing in the second half, with Beau Fermor scoring to close the gap.

Again though, they squandered any momentum gained, with young Warriors winger Viliami Vailea punching through some weak defence off a scrum to score a long-range try.

Freddy Lussick went close to putting the result beyond doubt when he was held up after 65 minutes, an outcome the Warriors would rue when Campbell made up for his earlier error with a stunning solo try. 

The next set saw Paul Turner cross to bring the Titans back to within two points, a deficit which was wiped out by a Boyd penalty goal as time expired.

After only three minutes of extra time, Boyd stepped up to be the hero with the sweetly-taken field goal.

The Titans finish with a sorry 6-18 record, as do the Warriors. 

© AAP





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