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Crichton triple powers Souths over Titans

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/06/2017 Matt Encarnacion

South Sydney have recovered from 14 points down to overpower a depleted Gold Coast, end a three-game losing streak and keep their NRL finals ambitions alive.

Rising star Angus Crichton and winger Alex Johnston scored five tries between them, while fullback Cody Walker grabbed one himself and set up another in the 36-20 win on Friday.

The Rabbitohs were down 20-10 at halftime but switched on the afterburners to cross for five unanswered tries in the second half and consign the Titans to their fourth straight defeat.

The win lifts the Rabbitohs back to within two points of the top eight, however Gold Coast, who were missing 11 first graders due to State of Origin and injury, fall back to 14th spot.

It was a strong statement from the home side who, after skipper Sam Burgess was ruled out on game day with a glute injury, looked dead in the water after 20 minutes.

In front of a crowd of 7,163 at ANZ Stadium, the Titans were racing the clock early when hooker Pat Politoni scored from a Nathaniel Peteru offload and Ashley Taylor nailed a penalty.

Playing his first game since a four-game ban for alleged cocaine use last month, Kevin Proctor pounced on a ricochet to give the visitors a 14-0 lead after 17 minutes.

But the Rabbitohs responded with venom off of an inspired solo try from Crichton, which was followed by Walker's long ball for Johnston to cut the lead to two.

The Titans looked to have gotten back on track when they Joe Greenwood powered over in the shadows of halftime despite the attention of five defenders.

But the home side came out a different outfit after the break, powering straight to fifth gear with Walker and Crichton crossing in the space of five minutes.

Bryson Goodwin also got the on the scoresheet with his own individual run before Johnston completed his brace - and Crichton his hat trick - late in the game.

Gold Coast finished the match with just one player on the bench after Greenwood and Taylor came off with concussion and Politoni suffered a leg injury.

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