Rabbits smash Gold Coast Titans to say top
South Sydney have bounced back immediately to winning ways with a 32-4 thrashing of Gold Coast tonight.
Led by English brothers Sam and George Burgess and youngster Luke Keary, the Rabbitohs quickly banished the disappointment of Monday's loss to St George Illawarra.
The heavy defeat is the Titans' fourth in a row and leaves them running out of time to claw their way back into the top eight with just six matches remaining.
Sam Burgess grabbed a try double while 21-year-old Keary scored his first NRL tries with a late pair of four-pointers.
Sam's little brother George was the other try-scorer for the Rabbitohs while winger Kevin Gordon scored the only points for the Titans in the 62nd minute.
Veteran winger Matt King didn't get on the scoreboard but performed excellently on his return from a broken arm to set up Keary's first try.
Souths' win ensures they will hold onto top spot on the ladder regardless of the result of Sunday's clash between second-placed Sydney Roosters and Newcastle.
The Titans, who missed a whopping 51 tackles, could be two games outside the eight by the end of the weekend depending on results.
Adding to the home team's woes, hooker Matt Srama looks set to miss most of the remaining games of the season after suffering a high ankle sprain in the first half.
Keary's elevation to the first grade team was one of several alterations in the wake of the loss to the Dragons.
Rabbitohs skipper John Sutton, who made his 200th NRL appearance for the club, said the Rabbitohs' depth is unparalleled to any he's experienced.
"We've got a great squad. It's very competitive. Everyone in the lower-grades is pushing hard for a first-grade spot," Sutton said.
"This is probably the best team I've been associated with at the club.
"It's good times here and hopefully just keep it up."
Titans coach John Cartwright was left counting the cost after admitting his team had been "bashed up all over the park" by the rampant Rabbitohs.
Apart from Srama, veteran prop Luke Bailey limped off late with an ankle injury while halfback Albert Kelly left the ground after the game with his left arm in a sling.
"It wasn't our worst performance of the year, put it that way," Cartwright said.
"Physically they came through us and it steamrolled.
"It's a matter of getting some pride back in our performance. Confidence is that invisible force, when it's there you know it and when it's not there you know it. It's missing at the moment."
South Sydney Rabbitohs 32 (S Burgess 2 L Keary 2 G Burgess tries A Reynolds 5 D Walker goals) Gold Coast Titans 4 (K Gordon try) at Skilled Park. Referee: Phil Haines, Ashley Klein. Crowd: 20,392