Alex Johnston scored his 150th career try as the South Sydney Rabbitohs were too strong for the Gold Coast Titans at CBus Stadium.
Gold Coast Titans 16
Tries: Greg Marzhew (14), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (48, 76)
Goals: Jamayne Isaako (49, 77)
South Sydney Rabbitohs xx
Tries: Alex Johnston 3 (6, 42, 70), Jaxson Paulo (20), Taane Milne (60)
Goals: Kodi Nikorima 5 (8, 21, 44, 61, 71)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
South Sydney headed to the CBus Stadium seeking their seventh win of 2022 and to give Tom Burgess victory in his 200th game. The Titans were looking to end a three-game losing streak and suffered a blow on the eve of the game with AJ Brimson ruled out with Covid. Paul Turner made his NRL debut at five-eighth.
The Rabbitohs got off to the perfect start after six minutes with Cameron Murray linking up with Cody Walker, who’s long pass found Alex Johnston for the game’s opening try.
A successful Captains Challenge for the Titans led to their first try for the afternoon as they shifted the ball from right, to left in a move finished off by Greg Marzhew who steamrolled Jaxson Paulo to score in the corner.
Paulo would get one back on his counterpart mid-way through the first half with Lachlan Ilias’ kick dropping perfectly for the winger to grab the ball and find the line. This was a tactic used on several occasions in attacking raids during the first half. Paulo went close to scoring his second six minutes later but couldn’t ground the ball.
The Titans were on top for a good period towards the back end of the half where they pressured the Rabbitohs on their line but couldn’t convert field position into points.
While South Sydney held an eight-point advantage of the break, the Titans were certainly not out of it by any means.
HALF-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 4 South Sydney Rabbitohs 12Embed from Getty Images
It was a horrible start for the Gold Coast Titans with Tanah Boyd’s forward pass just into South Sydney territory called forward.
From the next set Johnston was in for his second with Walker and Campbell Graham combining to find South Sydney’s greatest tryscorer out wide. Johnston moving within one try of his 150th.
After the video referee denied a Rabbitohs try to Paulo, the Titans had a little bit of luck receiving a ruck penalty near halfway, then converting field position into points with a try to their captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. Jamayne Isaako reduced the margin to eight.
On the hour, South Sydney went out to a fourteen-point lead with a converted try to Taane Milne following a great kick return from Graham at the start of the set.
With ten minutes remaining, Johnston scored his hat-trick and 150th try of his career, the recipient of Walker’s pass on the overlap.
A late try to Fa’asuamaleaui capped off a big week for the Queensland Maroons forward after tasting victory in Origin game 1 on Wednesday night.
For the third time straight, the Titans conceded more than thirty points in a match and remain just two points ahead of bottom placed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on the competition ladder.
South Sydney complete back-to-back victories for the first time since round 6, celebrating Burgess’ 200th game and Johnston’s 150th try.
FULL-TIME: Gold Coast Titans 16 South Sydney Rabbitohs 30
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs), 2 pts – Lachlan Ilias (Rabbitohs), 1 pt – Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans)
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