South Sydney have dominated proceedings at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina tonight, with a commanding 40-18 victory over the Gold Coast in front of just over 19,000 fans.
In truth the home side never looked like winning, with South Sydney racing the clock across the first quarter of the match. Dylan Walker bagged a double in the opening twenty minutes - including one with Souths' first touch of the ball in the first minute - while Alex Johnston and Kirisome Auva'a also got themselves on the scoresheet before the Titans had a chance to register what had happened.
First points for the Titans came through Anthony Don after 25 minutes when the rangy winger plucked a John Sutton pass out of the air and ran away to score against the run of play. The Rabbitohs were kept scoreless for the remainder of the half despite an Adam Reynolds penalty goal attempt, then the Gold Coast faithful got a taste of hope when "the Don" grabbed his second try in the shades of halftime off a clever high ball.
Sadly for those clad in aqua and gold, the Rabbitohs came out for the second half with a similar mindset to the first - early points. Dylan Walker was the man of the moment again, bagging his hat-trick of tries off a grubber. Both sides got a bit scrappy after Walker's third, with no points scored until the 65th minute - which proved to open the floodgates. The Bunnies bagged back to back tries - Johnston's second and Walker's fourth pushed South Sydney to 40-12 leaders.
Gold Coast pressured the final five minutes and it eventually tolled on the visitors, Dave Taylor scoring off a neat grubber inside the final minute, but nothing more than a consolation for a team staring at a dramatic fall from grace as they lost their third of the season.
Plenty of moments of concern for both sides came out of the clash - Gold Coast will be worried about Greg Bird (cited for a lifting tackle) and Ashley Harrison (concussion), while the Rabbitohs have big question marks over Adam Reynolds who left the field halfway through the game with a leg injury.
Both sides have a six-day turnaround before matches on Friday - the Rabbitohs host the Storm at ANZ Stadium while the Titans travel up the M1 to face big brother in the Broncos.