They scored the opening try and the last two as well but the Vodafone Warriors had to settle for a 24-42 loss to a much more experienced Gold Coast side in their first NRL trial of the year on Saturday night.
Playing at Pizzey Park in Burleigh Heads, the Vodafone Warriors shot out of the blocks with a try in the opening moments, starting hooker Alehana Mara serving up a try for standoff Pita Godinet.
It was the only time they led, Gold Coast putting on three straight tries to lead 18-6 at halftime and scoring again after the break to go 24-6 clear.
The 18-point lead was soon trimmed to eight, though, as the Vodafone Warriors recovered with two tries in quick succession to bring the score-line back to 16-24. The first went to Vodafone Junior Warriors winger David Fusitua, who has been training with the NRL squad throughout the offseason. He would be the first of three debutants in the top side to score a try.
Godinets conversion of Fusituas try cut the lead to 12-24 before it was further reduced by an unconverted Konrad Hurrell try.
Hopes of the recovery job continuing were dashed, however, as the Vodafone Warriors leaked three converted tries enabling the Titans to roll out to a 42-16 advantage.
There was time left for the Vodafone Warriors to finish positively with tries to two more debutants Ngani Laumape and Atelea Nafetalai, neither converted, for an 18-point loss.
A knee injury for Sione Lousi didnt look promising on the night but further assessment will be needed before being able to confirm how serious it is.
Later in the evening the Indigenous All Stars had a most impressive 32-6 win over the NRL All Stars at Suncorp Stadium in front of a huge crowd of more than 41,000. Dazzling fullback Ben Barba scored a first half hat-trick while his team mate Reece Robinson match his feat in the second half.
In other trials on Saturday night, South Sydney beat Papua New Guinea 38-12 and North Queensland beat Brisbane 28-24.
Gold Coast Titans 42 (Mark O'Dare 2, Anthony Don 2, Steve Michaels, Beau Falloon, Jordan Rankin tries; Beau Henry 4 conversions; Jordan Rankin 3 conversions).
Vodafone Warriors 24 (Pita Godinet, David Fusitua, Konrad Hurrell, Ngani Laumape, Atelea Nafetalai tries; Harry Siejka conversion; Godinet conversion).
Halftime: 18-6 Titans.
Referees: Gavin Badger and Clayton Sharpe.