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Key Takeaways - Rabbitohs vs Titans

Here are the key takeaways from the Rabbitohs 30-16 win over the Titans at Robina Stadium.

AJ Continues To Make History

Alex Johnston punished the Titans on Saturday night, securing only his second ever consecutive hat trick as he moved into the top try scorer spot for this season with 14 tries so far.  

A hat-trick from AJ also brought up another milestone, his 150th NRL try, overtaking Rabbitohs’ legend Greg Inglis and NRL Immortal Bob Fulton on the all-time try scorers list becoming just the 14th player in the history of the game to reach 150 tries.

Johnston’s impact on the game was deeper than just scoring tries, as Jason Demetriou noted when he praised the winger post-game for his work getting the Rabbitohs out of the own line and his incredible ability to finish tries from difficult situations. Demetriou added that Johnston “is a real asset to the team” and proved his worth today.

At just 27-years-old, AJ sits just eight tries off cracking into the top ten on the all-time list as he slowly creeps towards the top of the game’s greatest try scorers.

Hat-trick hero Johnston continues to sparkle

Finding Success On The Edge In Attack

Going into the game, the Titans were plagued with some well-documented struggles in defending their wing. The Rabbitohs’ brought this to the forefront as they scored all five tries going through the edge of the Titans defence.

Cody Walker and Lachlan Ilias’ combination on the edge helped lay the platform all five tries, with the halves going back and forth in targeting both sides of the Titans’ wing defence.

In the first half, the pair sent a barrage of attacks down the right side and were unlucky to go into the break with only one try on that side. Jaxson Paulo was twice denied by the bunker, shortly before Keaon Koloamatangi was narrowly held out by the Titans’ defence.

Paulo takes flight

The Titans’ weren’t given a break on the left, as Johnston punished the opposition all afternoon and posed a threat anytime he was within striking distance of the line.

Johnston’s hat trick only highlighted the stellar attack from the Rabbitohs, as the heads up play from the halves combo and impressive finishing from the edges was enough to get them the win.

Cook and Murray Back Up From Origin

With Cameron Murray playing for 50 minutes and Damien Cook playing the whole game on Wednesday night in Game One of State of Origin, many questioned if the pair could back up just four days after the gruelling battle.

Cook showed no signs of fatigue throughout the match and after leading the Blues in tackles made, he did the same for the Rabbitohs. The hooker, who has tallied up 99 tackles in the last four days, was given a well-deserved rest in the final ten minutes. Cook finished off with a try assist and line break assist, as the Titans struggled to maintain his fast runs from dummy-half.

Murray was back to his usual self and although he only played for just over half the game, his impact was felt on both sides of the field. Murray was impeccable in defence with zero missed tackles from 32 attempts and finished off with two offloads.

With a short five day turnaround for the next game against the Dragons on Thursday night in Wollongong, the pair will enjoy a couple of days off before preparing for another massive clash.

Burgess and Koloamatangi Lift In Their Milestone Games

Thomas Burgess and Keaon Koloamatangi both celebrated milestone games on Saturday, with Burgess notching up 200 NRL appearances all for South Sydney and Koloamatangi bringing up the half-century also all for South Sydney.

Both men put in a mountain of work with Burgess running for 177 metres and a solid 86 post-contact metres. Meanwhile, Koloamatangi ran for 165 metres and produced  41 tackles. 

Murray noted that the side lifted for the milestone games, saying “We want to be a part of milestone games, we want to play well for our teammates”, not only did the rest of the side lift, but the pair took their game to another level and deservingly celebrated their special games with a win.

NRL Press Conference: Titans v Rabbitohs - Round 14, 2022

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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