It was a marquee effort that deserved more but Gold Coast recruit David Fifita's barnstorming first-half against South Sydney has at least set the scene for next week's clash with his former club Brisbane.
Fifita scored his second hat-trick of tries this season in a devastating 30-minute spell at Cbus Super Stadium but his efforts were undone as the Titans let a 24-10 halftime lead slip to a 40-30 defeat against the Benji Marshall-inspired Rabbitohs.
The 21-year-old's performance was no surprise to Souths coach Wayne Bennett, who revealed he tried to lure Fifita to Redfern before the youngster signed his big-money deal with the Titans.
"I've coached a lot of games, nobody's unstoppable, but he's a player," Bennett said.
"That's why they paid the money they paid for him.
"I tried to get him to Souths, he didn't want to come to Sydney."
While Fifita is delivering for the Titans, Friday's loss left coach Justin Holbrook a frustrated man after his team slipped to a 3-4 record ahead of next Friday's derby clash with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
"Dave was terrific ... scoring a hat-trick, he was fantastic for us," Holbrook said.
"Obviously halftime hurt us and we had to start again and they did a much better job than us in the second half and that's why it was hard.
"We just couldn't get a chance there so we were always coming off our own line. It's definitely disappointing."
With fellow key recruit Tino Fa'asuamaleaui to serve the second game of his two-match suspension against the Broncos, Holbrook is facing a test of his forward depth.
Sam Lisone was an early casualty against the Rabbitohs with a pec injury and Moeaki Fotuaika was placed on report for a late high-shot on Souths' halfback Adam Reynolds.
"Our attitude was okay ... it was Souths' execution that we weren't good enough to stop," Holbrook said.
"We don't want to be leaking that many points, that's for sure so we've got to get better in our decision making ... we've got to fix that up."