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Tino typifies Inspire Round despite South Sydney triumph

A courageous return match for Titans captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui - which included a double - wasn't enough to stop the South Sydney Rabbitohs from claiming a 30-16 victory at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday.

In the club's Inspire Round, the motivating skipper typified the weekend by backing up from Origin with a two-try haul, 177 run metres and 26 tackles in his 48 minutes on field.

Greg Marzhew also starred in his first match back since Round 9, topping the running metres tally with an incredible 257, including 89 of those being post-contact.

Despite the stand-out performances by the returning duo, it wasn't enough to stop South Sydney, who stormed home to claim the two competition points - lead by Alex Johnston who brought up 150 career NRL tries with a hat-trick.

The visitors got on the board early with the prolific try-scorer getting amongst the action in the seventh minute, courtesy of a long ball from Cody Walker which allowed the flyer to beat Esan Marsters.

But the home side had a vocal crowd to help them hit back and in the 14th minute, the Titans were on the receiving end of a successful captain's challenge in Isaac Liu's first chance to send a decision upstairs - gifting the Gold Coast a fresh set of six in which they capitalised on.

Mid-way through the tackle count, halfback Toby Sexton saw an opening on the left hand side and threw a pinpoint cut-out pass to Marzhew - who was left to just do what he does best - bust tackles.

Beating three South Sydney defenders, including fending Jaxson Paulo into the third row, Marzhew slammed the ball down for the Titans' first points of the game.

Marzhew monsters his way through Souths defence

The Rabbitohs edged their way in front again in the 20th minute when a last play kick from Lachlan Ilias allowed Paulo to leap and beat Jamayne Isaako, crossing to take a 12-4 lead at the half-way mark of the opening stanza.

Nothing could separate either team in the closing stages of the first 40 minutes with both teams settling into the grind - the Titans finishing the half ahead in a majority of the major stats, including an impressive 95 percent completion rate heading into the sheds.

South Sydney burst out of the sheds and put further points on in the 43rd minute with Johnston crossing for his 149th NRL career try, but the home side wasn't just about to put the cue in the rack in Inspire Round.

In the 48th minute, it was none other than captain Fa'asuamaleaui - a co-designer of the club's Pasifika jersey - who barged over with a crash play near the line to put the Titans back in the contest, trailing 18-10 with half an hour to play.

Big Tino can't be stopped

The contest continued to be a tough, bruising and gruelling battle - particularly among the forward packs - before the dam wall burst in the 60th minute with Taane Milne getting a four-pointer for the visitors to extend their buffer to 14 points.

More points ensued for the red, green and white with Johnston bringing up his hat-trick in style in the 70th minute, but the inspirational captain got Titans fans up and about for his double in a bittersweet ending to the clash in the 76th minute.

Tino gets a consolation and his second

The Gold Coast next face the Cronulla Sharks at Coffs Harbour on Saturday.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.