The Warriors made hard work of a 28-18 defeat of a Gold Coast Titans outfit that was forced to play a man short for more than an hour following the controversial send-off of Moeaki Fotuaika.
Leading 18-6 early in the second half, the Warriors left the door ajar for the dangerous hosts, who levelled the scores with 17 minutes left.
As they did prior to last week’s bye against Canberra, though, the error-riddled Warriors eventually held their nerve to conjure two tries in the last seven minutes and bank another valuable two competition points.
Melbourne’s loss to Penrith later on Friday night pitched the Warriors into outright third spot on the NRL ladder
Here’s your Kingz Container Crew player ratings from a strange yet entertaining evening on the Gold Coast.
1 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD: Had already racked up 72 metres on eight carries before being ironed out by Fotuaika 17 minutes in. Has to be in some doubt for next week. 6
2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: A sensational try assist in the first half and a well-taken try – his 17th of the year in just 14 games – to go with 11 runs for 111 metres and a sound defensive effort opposite Titans dangerman Alofiana Khan-Pereira. 7.5
3 ROCCO BERRY: The Titans ran plenty of traffic young Rocco’s way but he came up with some important stops among 16 tackles. Just 43 metres from seven runs in a forgettable night offensively. 6
4 ADAM POMPEY: Marked his surprise contract extension with a solid showing, raking up 114 metres and a line-break from nine runs. 7
5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Made 127 metres, the most of any Warriors back, and seven tackle-breaks from 14 runs but came up with a couple of handling errors. 6.5
6 LUKE METCALF: Plenty to like with 100 running metres, a line-break and a line-break assist, but perhaps not the influence you’d hope in a game tailored to his strengths against a 12-man opponent. Yet to see a repeat of getting the left edge firing like he did against Parramatta. 6.5
7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Another game where maybe the Warriors don’t get the result if SJ isn’t there. Turned the tide of a bizarre first half with a solo try, then made a sizzling line-break before backing up to score his side’s second. Laid on Jackson Ford’s try with a pass and DWZ’s kick with a brilliant kick. Made 24 tackles and 93 metres, and surely took another step towards Dally M glory. 8
8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Super strong in the middle yet again with a team-high 169 metres (80 post-contact) on 16 carries, plus 22 tackles. More dependable than dynamic, but an impressive 54-minute shift nonetheless. 7.5
9 WAYDE EGAN: Reeled off 34 tackles, got his running game going with 85 metres from eight runs and capped another influential performance with a clutch last-tackle try assist to put Tohu Harris over (one of two line-break assists for the night) for the go-head try in the 73rd minute. 7.5
10 MITCH BARNETT: Industrious effort from Barnett as he firms as a starting prop for the rest of the season, churning out 153 metres from 17 runs and 30 tackles. 7.5
11 JACKSON FORD: Massive work-rate on the edge with 158 metres from 17 runs and an equal-team-high 36 tackles. Scored an outstanding try steaming onto an SJ pass but negated that by through an intercept pass that saw Jayden Campbell go the length and tie up the game. 7
12 MARATA NIUKORE: Fell victim to one of the most farcical sin-binnings in the history of rugby league and didn’t have an overly big impact in 43 minutes on the paddock, chalking up 73 metres from seven runs and 19 tackles. 6
13 TOHU HARRIS: The skipper’s first try in 25 games was the headline moment, but another mighty display all-round with team-high tallies for runs (19, for 142 metres) and tackles (36). 7.5
14 DYLAN WALKER: Did what he habitually does after being injected, making a line-break and producing a line-break assist to go with 10 runs for 109 metres and 18 tackles in 30 minutes.7
16 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Just nine minutes off the pine for Sironen, making three runs and five tackles. 5
17 JOSH CURRAN: A brief 20-minute stint, during which time he made 50 metres from four runs and 13 tackles. 6
18 JAZZ TEVAGA: An eye-catching 21-minute return from a 15-week layoff, ripping in with typical vigour for six runs and 17 tackles. 6.5
20 TAINE TUAPIKI: Pitched in after 17 minutes for his third NRL appearance and didn’t look out of place, but threw a couple of passes to ground and was targeted in defence. More impressively, 165 metres from 17 runs and some excellent kick defusals. 7