NYC: Vodafone Junior Warriors 30, Titans 32

Centre Solomone Kata on the rampage during the Vodafone Junior Warriors' ultimately unsuccsessful comeback against Gold Coast in Sunday's NYC clash at Mount Smart Stadium. Photo: Photosport.


Bottom-placed Gold Coast produced a 76th-minute try to prevent the Vodafone Junior Warriors completing a stunning comeback win in todays seventh-round NYC clash at Mount Smart Stadium.


When the Titans scored their fifth try six minutes after halftime, they had a commanding 26-6 lead but, as the Vodafone Junior Warriors have proved any number of times in the past, such a deficit is never insurmountable.


And so they launched one of their special recovery efforts.

In a 17-minute assault they snared five tries two to the accomplished David Fusitua to surge into a 30-26 lead with 12 minutes to play.


They werent able to extend the lead despite opportunities but still hit the final five minutes leading by four points until the Titans stunned them with what proved to be the 75th-minute match-winning try.


Ultimately the Vodafone Junior Warriors paid the price for their slow start to the contest. They had seemed well off the pace at what has been a fortress for them ever since the NYC started.


After conceding two early tries to fall 0-12 behind, they worked their way back into the match with a stunning Abraham Papalii try, the big man running roughshod over defenders to get his side started.


It proved a brief respite with the young Titans, boasting just one win in seven games, scoring two more tries before halftime to lead 22-6 and then another immediately after to stretch out to a 26-6 lead.


Cue another comeback, and a very good one, but this time it wasnt going to be quite enough.


Despite the defeat, the Vodafone Junior Warriors remain seventh on the points table and will face fifth-placed Canterbury-Bankstown in Wellington next Saturday.


Match details:


At Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Vodafone Junior Warriors 30 (David Fusitua 2, Abraham Papalii, Viliami Lolohea, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Solomone Kata tries; Mason Lino 3 conversions).

Gold Coast Titans 32 (Kurtis McDonald 2, Matthew Russell, Ryan Diffey, Sam Harrold, Kayne Elgey tries; Sam Johnson 3 conversions; Jahrome Hughes conversion).

Halftime: 22-6 Titans.

Referees: Matt Noylan and Peter Gough.


Vodafone Junior Warriors: Ngataua Hukatai; Alamoti Finau, Solomone Kata, David Fusitua, Viliami Lolohea; Tuimoala Lolohea, Mason Lino; Albert Vete, Michael Sio, Sam Lisone; Raymond Faitalaa-Mariner, Stedman Lefau, David Bhana (c). Interchange: James Taylor, Trent Bishop, Abraham Papalii, Eric Newbigging.