The Vodafone Warriors put together a dominant performance in all areas in their win over the Gold Coast Titans in Robina on Saturday night.
The key number was, of course, the score-line of 36-14, comfortably the club’s biggest winning margin so far this season – no four-point nerves this time – and also the most points the Vodafone Warriors have scored in a match in 2015.
The fourth win in eight games on the road has the Vodafone Warriors running seventh on the ladder, back in the top eight after one week out of it. With 16 points from a 7-7 record they’re level with the Sydney Roosters (fifth), South Sydney (sixth) and Canterbury-Bankstown (eighth). This group of four teams is two behind fourth-placed Melbourne and two clear of ninth-placed Canberra.
But it’s the finer detail of the Vodafone Warriors’ display against Gold Coast which makes compelling and rewarding reading.
While they gave the Titans a 10-point start they methodically and ruthlessly reeled them in so effectively they scored 30 points in the last 29 minutes of the contest with two tries in the final six minutes. It was a graphic illustration of the joy building pressure delivers.
Completing 30 sets is routinely regarded as the key to victory. The Vodafone Warriors went beyond it completing 33 of their 40 sets in possession (83 per cent) while the Titans managed just 24 for 32 (75 per cent).
The rest of the statistics followed suit with total runs 188-140 in the Vodafone Warriors’ favour and metres gained reading 1788-1211. Line breaks were 5-3, off loads 11-9, tackle breaks 32-23, dummy half runs 18-6, kicks 23-16 and goal-line dropouts 6-1 while they made only seven errors – close to their best this season – to the Titans’ 10. All of which led to the Titans being under huge defensive heat making 362 tackles and missing 32 while the Vodafone Warriors had to make only 278 and missed 23.
It stood to reason that any number of individuals stood out with eight Vodafone Warriors topping 100 metres, most notably props Ben Matulino with 222 metres from 21 runs and Jacob Lillyman 204 from 20, a phenomenal effort by Lillyman from the bench backing up after his Origin efforts on Wednesday night.
With a lighter defensive load through more efficient work in possession, captain Simon Mannering was required to make only 31 tackles rather than the 50-odd which has been the norm.
STATISTICS | v GOLD COAST TITANS, CBUS SUPER STADIUM | WON 36-14
Penalties | Vodafone Warriors 5, Gold Coast 5.
Completions | Vodafone Warriors 33/40 (83%), Gold Coast 24/32 (75%).
Total runs | Vodafone Warriors 188, Gold Coast 140.
Metres gained | Vodafone Warriors 1788, Gold Coast 1211.
Dummy half runs (metres) | Vodafone Warriors 18 (136), Gold Coast 9 (76).
Line breaks | Vodafone Warriors 5, Gold Coast 3.
Tackle breaks | Vodafone Warriors 32, Gold Coast 23.
Kicks (kicking metres) | Vodafone Warriors 23 (416), Gold Coast 16 (484).
Tackles | Vodafone Warriors 278, Gold Coast 362.
Missed tackles | Vodafone Warriors 23, Gold Coast 32.
Offloads | Vodafone Warriors 11, Gold Coast 9.
Errors | Vodafone Warriors 7, Gold Coast 10.
Runs | Vodafone Warriors: Ben Matulino 21, Jacob Lillyman 20, Manu Vatuvei 17, Solomone Kata 13, Nathan Friend 13, Bodene Thompson 13, Simon Mannering 13, Sam Tomkins 11, Raymond Faitala-Mariner 10. Gold Coast: David Mead 15, Luke Douglas 13, Lachlan Burr 12, Dave Taylor 12, Nene Macdonald 11, Eddy Pettybourne 10, Kevin Gordon 10.
Metres gained | Vodafone Warriors: Ben Matulino 222, Jacob Lillyman 204, Manu Vatuvei 139, Solomone Kata 122, Simon Mannering 118, Shaun Johnson 116, Raymond Faitala-Mariner 111, Nathan Friend 108. Gold Coast: Dave Taylor 132, Luke Douglas 122, David Mead 107, Nene Macdonald 103.
Tackle breaks | Vodafone Warriors: Shaun Johnson 5, Raymond Faitala-Mariner 5, Solomone Kata 4, Nathan Friend 3, Manu Vatuvei 2, Chad Townsend 2, Simon Mannering 2, Bodene Thompson 2, Sam Tomkins 2. Gold Coast: Josh Hoffman 5, Nene McDonald 3, David Mead 3, Dave Taylor 3.
Off loads | Vodafone Warriors: Ben Matulino 3, Sam Tomkins 2, Simon Mannering 2. Gold Coast: Nene Macdonald 3, Lachlan Burr 2.
Tackles | Vodafone Warriors: Bodene Thompson 38, Nathan Friend 33, Simon Mannering 31, Jacob Lillyman 29. Gold Coast: Luke Douglas 56, Daniel Mortimer 46, Lachlan Burr 46, Eddy Pettybourne 31, Chad Redman 26.
Missed tackles | Vodafone Warriors: Nathan Friend 0, Jacob Lillyman 0, Manu Vatuvei 0. Gold Coast: Mark Ioane 0, Anthony Don 0.