The pre-match storylines focussed on Jarryd Hayne’s return to the NRL and Konrad Hurrell taking on his old club, but ultimately it was Shaun Johnson, Solomone Kata and David Fusitu’a who stole the show in Sunday’s stirring 24-14 upset of the Gold Coast Titans.
Hayne was outstanding in his first game of league in almost two years and Hurrell scored a try in another powerful display for the Titans, but Kata came up with the clutch play in the 66th minute, intercepting an Ashley Taylor pass and sealing a 90-metre try with one of the 2016 season’s great fends on Anthony Don.
It was the second vital intercept in the space of eight minutes, with Fusitu’a snaffling a pass from Hayne on the Warriors’ 10-metre line just before the hour mark. Hurrell showed remarkable pace to run down the Warriors centre, but Johnson put Kata over on the ensuing play.
Johnson claimed man-of-the-match honours after delivering the money ball for three Warriors tries, including Fusitua’s brilliant opener and a Simon Mannering four-pointer that broke a 10-all halftime deadlock.