The Brisbane Broncos have stormed back into top four contention with a 34-0 thumping of the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium in front of over 18,000 fans.
Many questioned whether the Broncos were genuine premiership contenders given that their biggest win prior to Sunday afternoon's result was their nine-point victory over the Warriors.
Regular halves pairing Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima had also struggled with their game management, while Wayne Bennett was also relying on a host of young forwards to stand up.
Fortunately for Bennett, both Milford and Nikorima stood up while their youthful pack, headlined by Joe Ofahengaue, led the Broncos outfit to a resounding 34-point win. Meanwhile, with their finals hopes on the line, the Titans barely threatened, with halfback Ash Taylor having a particularly disappointing night after missing out on Origin selection earlier in the week.
Brisbane were quick to post points in the third minute when rookie centre Kotoni Staggs offloaded for Kodi Nikorima who sliced over. Five minutes later, Jamayne Isaako extended their lead courtesy of a penalty goal. Staggs himself nabbed a try in the 20th minute when a brilliant offload by Jaydn Su'a saw the rookie power his way over out wide. Unfortunately, that would be the end of the night for the centre after he was taken off minutes later for a concussion check.
The Gold Coast looked a shade of the side that had won two straight to surge back into finals contention, and eight minutes later Anthony Milford sent Darius Boyd over to give the Broncos a 20-0 lead at the break.
The Broncos opened the scoring in the second half when an Isaako penalty goal extended their lead to 22-0. It was a slow start for both sides in the second forty, with neither looking all too threatening early and with little going on, Isaako again opted for the two points in the 55th minute to make it 24-0.
The Titans completed just 63% of their sets on Sunday afternoon and the Broncos consistently made them pay for their errors, with Ofahengaue barging over in the 59th minute after a Gold Coast error close to the line. The final try came in the 76th minute when a perfectly executed left-edge raid off the scrum saw Jonus Pearson go over.
The 34-0 win sees Brisbane jump into seventh position while the Titans now sit eight points adrift of the top eight.
Next week the Broncos look to keep their top four hopes alive when they host the struggling Warriors while the Gold Coast stay put on the Glitter Strip and prepare for the Roosters on Sunday night.