A hat-trick from Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis was just three of seven tries scored in the first half by South Sydney as the relentless reigning NRL Telstra Premiership champions ran out 52-6 victors over a terrible Newcastle Knights outfit at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
After conceding the game's opening try to Knights prop Kade Snowden the Rabbitohs scored 36 points in 34 minutes, continuing the onslaught in the second half to run out 46-point winners – highlighted by hat-tricks to Inglis and Dylan Walker and a double to winger Alex Johnston.
"I think we've had some form over the last couple of weeks actually," Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said.
"We're obviously looking at our game pretty closely. We've had some good games and some good performances, and some performances that we've had to look pretty deep into. But to be able to play like that, with the combinations of the boys are gaining momentum with, is what we're looking for."
For Newcastle, who lost James McManus to concussion within six minutes, it's now a matter of going back to the drawing board again as they look to distant themselves from the wooden spoon after a promising win over the Titans last week.
"I'm shell-shocked really. I'm embarrassed to be honest," Knights coach Rick Stone said.
"It's probably a fair time to apologise to our fans, particularly for the first half. That's not NRL standard. What we served up in the first half was not of NRL standard."
The Rabbitohs responded to Newcastle's first try of the game in the best possible way with Walker's first, and they were back at it in the 11th minute when Johnston forced his way through the pedestrian defence of Chanel Mata'utia and Tyrone Roberts.
Quick hands was the impetus behind the Rabbitohs' third try when five-eighth Luke Keary's delayed pass to a spinning John Sutton helped him throw the ball back inside for captain Inglis to score just his fifth try of the season.
When Sione Mata'utia dropped an Adam Reynolds bomb Souths went on the attack again, with Bryson Goodwin scoring off the scrum in the 24th minute.
Three minutes later, Inglis was in for the his second of the night when he split opposite captain Kurt Gidley and Knights centre Dane Gagai to race 35 metres downfield to score.
Newcastle conceded their sixth try of the night when Walker was able to outmuscle Beau Scott on the ground to touch down in the 32nd minute for his second.
Inglis completed a first half hat-trick with 55 seconds to spare in the stanza to extend his side's lead to 30 at half-time.
The Rabbitohs started from where they left off in the second half when in the 49th minute Tom Burgess forced his way under the uprights to score his first try of the season.
Johnston scored his second of the game in the 68th after outleaping Chanel Mata'utia to take control of an Adam Reynolds cross-field kick to stretch the deficit to 40.
Walker completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute when he blitzed his way past Tariq Sims to pile further misery on to Newcastle's fortunes and help Souths end the game with half a century of points.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 52 (Greg Inglis 3, Dylan Walker 3, Alex Johnston 2, Bryson Goodwin, Tom Burgess Tries; Adam Reynolds 6 Goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 6 (Kade Snowden Try; Tyrone Roberts Goal) at ANZ Stadium. Crowd: 14,603. Half-time: Rabbitohs 36-6. On Report: Tyrone Roberts (Knights).