Two sides who’ve made a terrible start to their 2020 NRL campaigns were brought together at the Bankstown Stadium in Paramatta as the South Sydney Rabbitohs took on the Gold Coast Titans in a crucial match at the wrong end of the table.
Sitting fourteenth and fifteenth in the ladder and propped up only by a pointless St George Illawarra Dragons, a win was vital for both sides to get their campaign moving and hopefully gain some momentum.
History was on the Rabbitohs side and they were massive favourites with the bookies to seal the win.
The Rabbitohs took just over three minutes to open the scoring, thanks to a big slice of luck, as full-back Latrell Mitchell chested the ball forwards and regathered to drop over the line for the try from three metres out. Adam Reynolds added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
The Titans struck back within three minutes, again with a full-back try, as Phillip Sami backed himself to push off the cover tackler and stretch for the line. Ashley Taylor added the conversion from wide.
On twelve the Bunnies got their second after the Titans failed to deal with a Walker grubber kick and Alex Johnston got a hand on the bouncing ball to ground. Reynolds curled the ball between the uprights for 12-6.
The lead was extended on seventeen after Dane Gagai took a Mitchell touch pass and went twenty metres down the right wing to score by the corner flag. Reynolds converted brilliantly from the touchline for 18-6, Souths already looking like they’d be the ones to take the points.
It was turning into a nightmare for the Titans as the Rabbotohs scored their fourth try on twenty-four minutes. It was another juggle, this time by Braidon Burns who regained possession to ground. Reynolds made it four from four for 24-6.
When the Titans conceded a penalty for obstruction on thirty-eight, Reynolds kicked his fifth goal of the night to send the Rabbitohs into the break with a 26-6 lead.
The half-time talk from Justin Holbrook paid dividends for the Titans as the scored the first try of the second half. An Anthony Don pass found Bryce Cartwright who went outside the cover tackler and grounded the ball before going into touch. Taylor converted in off the far upright to reduce the lead to fourteen points.
With five minutes remaining Gagai got his second of the game as he found space on the overlap to score down the right hand side but he has Mitchell to thank who threw an outrageous dummy before putting in the money ball for the winger to score. Reynolds made it six from six on the night with another superb touchline conversion.
The Bunnies were never in any trouble as they bossed the game from the outset. They were worth more than their eventual twenty-point win over a Titans side who look to have a whole heap of trouble in their 2020 campaign.
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Mitchell (T), Gagai (2T), Graham, Burns (T), Johnston (T), Walker, Reynolds (6G), Tatola, Cook, Burgess, Su’A, Lowe, Murray. Subs: Knight, Mago, Amone, Sironen.
Gold Coast Titans: Sami (T), Don, Copley, Tonumaipea, Kelly, Taylor (2G), Fogarty, Fotuaika, Clark, Lisone, Proctor, Cartwright (T), Arrow. Subs: Boyd, Hipgrave, Joliffe, Peachey.
Referee: Matt Cecchin.
Ground: Bankwest Stadium, Paramatta.