Win-win: Titans and Warriors draw at historic Lismore game
It might have been a trial game but there's no doubt that the Titans and the Warriors were each out to win when they clashed at Lismore's Oakes Oval on Saturday night.
But the game which was played in torridly humid conditions was a case of win-win when the final siren sounded after a hard fought match, leaving the Gold Coast Titans and the New Zealand Warriors able to hold their heads up high.
It was superior effort by the Warriors who were down 6 - 12 at half time that they could keep the Titans from scoring in a gruelling second half.
Going into the game each side was cagey about their battle plans.
And both seemed to take a while to shake down their plays.
But the crowd were vocal in their appreciation of being able to watch such a tightly-contested match.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook praised his team for keeping the Warriors to a draw.
"In terms of how all the players went and how the game panned out I'm really happy with that," he said.
"I thought here was some really good signs for us without being brilliant.
"It was a good hitout … and (it's) always a bit awkward knowing that we're playing them in two weeks but I'm happy with what I saw."
Holbrook said the trial match was a good way to prepare for the season proper.
"It was what we needed," he said.
"We just need to play footy and now getting through all that, we can look forward to round one."
The result showed a promising start to the Nathan Brown-era at the Warriors.
A former Northern Rivers player, Brown said he was pleased with the way the squad played.
This is despite hooker Wayde Egan having departed with a shoulder injury just 15 minutes in.
Egan said his injury was from "friendly fire" when he was bumped by a teammate.
He will have scans to see if he'll be fine for round one of the NRL season next month.
"They played really well, showed plenty of steel at times," Brown said.
"But we made far too many errors."
Brown said he felt the game "was a reasonable hitout."
Strong play meant Brown rotated his bench in the final quarter, allowing several rookies to get some game time on the ground.
Despite the Titans making a condensed effort to score in the final few minutes, the Warriors gritted their teeth and withstood the pressure.
The team meet again during the NRL round one.
Warriors 12 (J Curran, J Tevaga tries; K Nikorima 2 goals)
Titans 12 (T Fa'asuamaleaui, J Wallace tries; J Fogarty 2 goals)