South Sydney has slumped to its fourth loss from five outings after a disappointing 31-6 defeat to the North Queensland Cowboys at Accor Stadium.
A solid first half defensive performance was let down in the second, as the Rabbitohs conceded four tries to suffer a heavy defeat.
Both sides showed signs of promise and looked to show some attacking flair through the opening quarter of the game, only for defence to show out and neither unable to break the deadlock.
An obstruction call gave the Cowboys a full set on the Rabbitohs line in the 24th minute, but again their defence held solid, before Cameron Murray was forced from the field for a HIA.
Soon after they were tested again with repeat sets, but the defensive line was able to keep the visitors at bay, with Keaon Koloamatangi plucking an attacking Cowboys kick right on the goal-line to keep the scores at zero through 28 minutes.
Another error in their own half proved too costly this time, with Tom Dearden finding Murray Taulagi with a looping pass to open the scoring in the 32nd minute of play.
With the clock winding down, Scott Drinkwater slotted a field goal with the last play of the half to head into the sheds up 5-0.
A complete turnaround was needed at the half with the Rabbitohs behind on possession, territory, errors and penalties conceded at the break.
The second half could not have started any worse, with Drinkwater breaking through the line and putting Valentine Holmes over the push the margin out to 11-0 just five minutes into the half.
Holmes had a double on the very next set, with Taulagi knocking a chip kick back into the centre's hands to create an imposing scoreline at 17-0.
The possession tide began to turn and after 59 minutes they finally posted points, with a Lachlan Ilias dummy off a scrum fooling the defence and seeing him cross under the posts to keep them in the contest.
Just as they looked to gather momentum, an error and penalty helped the Cowboys take a gift two points and push the score to 19-6.
The result was as good as done 10 minutes from time, with a rampaging Kulikefu Finefeuiaki busting through two tackles to score under the posts and make the lead an unassailable 19 points.
South Sydney's defence holds solid through the first 30 minutes, turning the Cowboys away a number of times to keep scores at zero.
Murray Taulagi broke scoring drought in the 32nd minute for the Cowboys to post first points.
Scott Drinkwater slotted a field goal on half time to extend the lead to 5-0.
The second half started poorly for Souths, with Valentine Holmes crossing inside five minutes to push the margin out to 11.
Holmes' second on the very next set made the task tough for the Rabbitohs, trailing 17-0 with 32 minutes to play.
Lachlan Ilias got Souths on the board after 59 minutes, throwing a dummy off a scrum and scoring under the posts.
Kulikefu Finefeuiaki put the exclamation mark on a strong Cowboys win 10 minutes from time.
Play of the Game
With South Sydney finally getting their hands on some quality ball in the second half, Lachlan Ilias gets them on the board after throwing a dummy off a scrum, bamboozling the defence and getting the Rabbitohs back in the contest approaching the final 20 minutes.
A blockbuster game across the ditch is next for the Rabbitohs on Friday night as they take on the in-form New Zealand Warriors in the 6pm slot, before the State of Origin period comes into play once again.