The 32-12 scoreline indicates a big South Sydney Rabbitohs win but that might be harsh on the Gold Coast Titans.
It took just 24 minutes for the Rabbitohs to hold a commanding 24-6 lead before the Titans knuckled down and held the Rabbitohs mostly at bay.
Led by Latrell Mitchell and the returning Cody Walker, it was all guns blazing for the Rabbitohs to begin the game.
Damien Cook and Mitchell combined; a flat pass from the hooker saw a charging Mitchell rumble over to score.
Not to be outdone, the Titans would hit back with a try of their own.
A shift down the right side saw Philip Sami use his pace to smoke Braidon Burns.
From there, it was all Rabbitohs, with three unanswered tries in quick succession.
Two six-again calls favoured the Rabbitohs as Walker’s grubber was grounded by Alex Johnston.
Dane Gagai then scored his first try of the match, after he was in a perfect spot to receive a tap-on from Mitchell.
Mitchell was again involved; this time grubbering ahead and with the defence caught off-guard, Burns was there to pounce and score.
Although the Titans had their own chances and forced some repeat sets, they lacked venom and failed to apply genuine pressure.
Despite that and down but not out, the Titans came out with a defensive resolve in the second half.
The defence paid off as they would then go down the field and score their second try.
Jamal Fogarty’s bomb was collected by winger Anthony Don before he found Bryce Cartwright who scored.
A chance for three further tries beckoned but either errors or scrambling Rabbitohs defence denied the Titans.
Cartwright’s kick for Don was slightly heavy, Hipgrave lost it trying to barge over and scrambling Rabbitohs defence denied Don.
The game’s final try would come and it was Mitchell, again involved.
Mitchell broke a tackle, found Gagai and the winger did the rest for his second of the evening.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook lamented his side’s missed opportunities throughout the match.
“It was a disappointing first half,” Holbrook said.
“It’s always good when you can claim a good second-half performance but we had to work way too hard in the first half.
“We didn’t want the 50-50s bad enough, we gave them to many opportunities.”
Playing it coy about Mitchell’s top game from fullback, Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett just said Latrell was good.
“He was good,” Bennett said.
“The position suits him, the amount of skill he’s got.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Latrell Mitchell (SOU)
2. Cody Walker (SOU)
- Moeaki Fotuaika (GLD)