South Sydney backrower Angus Crichton scored a hat-trick of tries today at ANZ Stadium as the Rabbitohs recovered from a 10-20 half-time deficit to score 26 unanswered points in the second half for a 36-20 victory.
Sam Burgess was absent for the Rabbitohs, with Kyle Turner starting at loose forward. Braidon Burns replaced Aaron Gray on the wing and Jason Clark and Anthony Cherrington joined the bench while Robbie Rochow dropped out of the side.
For the Titans, Phillip Sami made his debut on the wing for Anthony Don while Pat Vaivai joined the bench.
The Titans skipped shot out to a 14-0 lead in the first half with tries from Pat Politoni and Kevin Proctor, with Ash Taylor adding both conversion and a penalty.
The Titans could have extended their lead further but rampaging centre Konrad Hurrell was ruled to have spilled the ball in an attempt to regather a Taylor kick in-goal.
Crichton scored his first try before Alex Johnston scored in the corner.
But in the final play before the break former St Helens star Joe Greenwood carried four defenders over the line to take the lead out to 10 heading into the dressing rooms.
Greenwood would later have to leave the field with concussion following a head clash, and the Rabbitohs added five more tries after the break, with two from Crichton and others from Cody Walker, Bryson Goodwin and Johnston adding his second.
Rabbitohs: 1 Cody Walker, 2 Alex Johnston, 3 Hymel Hunt, 4 Bryson Goodwin, 18 Braidon Burns, 6 John Sutton, 7 Adam Reynolds, 8 George Burgess, 9 Robbie Farah, 10 Thomas Burgess, 11 Tyrell Fuimaono, 12 Angus Crichton, 15 Kyle Turner; Interchange: 14 Damien Cook, 17 Zane Musgrove, 19 Jason Clark, 20 Anthony Cherrington.
Titans: 1 William Zillman, 19 Phillip Sami, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 John Olive, 6 Chris McQueen, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Nathaniel Peteru, 9 Pat Politoni, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Joe Greenwood, 13 Leivaha Pulu; Interchange: 15 Morgan Boyle, 16 Eddy Pettybourne, 17 Max King, 22 Paterika Vaivai.
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL matches can be found in Monday’s issue of League Express