Titans v Broncos: Five key points
Broncos pull right rein at hooker, Titans embarrassed by record-breaking defeat, Brisbane's physical dominance goes unchecked and much work to be done to restore Queensland's south-east derby into something resembling a rivalry.
Wayne pulls the right rein… again
What were we worried about?
Even after the mid-week ducks and drakes and placing Alex Glenn's name between the two props on the team sheet an hour before kick-off, Wayne Bennett began the post-Andrew McCullough period at the Broncos with Sam Thaiday at dummy-half and Ben Hunt on the bench and, as is often the case with the master coach, it all worked a treat.
With the forward pack dominating the young and largely inexperienced Titans, Thaiday jumped out of dummy-half with his first touch and made 15m and even had a crack when he got close to the line, only to be held up by the Titans defence.
Hunt was introduced for Korbin Sims at the 20-minute mark and had an immediate impact, credited for the assist on Kodi Nikorima's try in the 23rd minute, scoring a try of his own just before the half-time break and adding a second eight minutes into the second term to open up a 20-point lead.
He laid on another for Anthony Milford with 20 minutes to go and then completed an extra special night in the No.9 jersey with a third try in the 65th minute.
The Broncos aren't the same team without McCullough at hooker but they just might have found a formula that can carry them a long way in September.
Broncos' physical dominance goes unchecked
From the opening minutes it was obvious that the Broncos had a physical dominance over their younger and more inexperienced counterparts but it took 45 minutes before anyone with a Gold Coast jersey stood up to them.
The Broncos bullied their little brother for the first 40 minutes and as a result slowed the Titans' ruck speed whilst generating plenty of their own.
Where Brisbane started the game with six internationals in their pack the Titans had 20 year-old Max King, 21-year-old Morgan Boyle and 24-year-old Joe Greenwood playing in his 18th NRL game and it was one way traffic through the middle of the field.
As Adam Blair ruffled the feathers of his Titans opposites no one in a blue and gold jersey offered any matching aggression until Ryan James finally ignited some fire in the Titans with a crunching tackle that put Jordan Kahu into touch in the 45th minute.
That sparked a mild melee in which James Roberts appeared to put a left fist onto the chin of James but no action taken was taken by the on-field referees.
The resistance was only fleeting but what they would have given for someone like Greg Bird to get into the faces of the Brisbane players and match fire with fire.
South-east derby no rivalry
It's hard to believe that a fortnight ago the Titans were eyeing a spot in the finals given the humiliation they have endured in their past two games.
Trying to break a six-game winning streak by the Broncos over them, the Titans kept the scoreboard level for 23 minutes before the northern neighbours went on a point-scoring riot, racking up 48 points at almost a point a minute to inflict the heaviest defeat in the Titans' 10-year history, surpassing the 56-10 flogging they suffered at the hands of the Raiders in Round 18, 2007.
Every bounce of the ball seemed to go the way of Brisbane but it did so because they were the ones forcing the issue and challenging the Titans defence with their attack.
They had equalled the 34-0 scoreline they inflicted on the Titans two years ago that was their previous biggest win by the 62nd minute and showed absolutely no mercy, with Josh McGuire diving over in the final minute of the game to bring up the half century.
The Titans promised their fans that they would be able to leave Cbus Super Stadium with their heads held high; instead the Gold Coast faithful were mocked as they left their own home ground by delirious Brisbane supporters.
They have said that they want to one day emulate the success of their bitter rivals; after that showing the Titans have a long, long way to go.
Broncos make Titans pay for their mistakes
For 20 minutes the Titans were well and truly in the contest but errors whilst attacking the Brisbane line not only produced no points for the home side but saw the Broncos go 100 metres to score at the other end.
Perhaps not hearing the call of a restarted tackle count Jarryd Hayne inexplicably kicked on the first tackle and when it went dead in-goal Brisbane turned a seven-tackle set into a try to Corey Oates. Then when Anthony Don spilled the ball in trying to score from a quick tap Brisbane regathered the ball and got out to the 50-metre line with Ben Hunt scoring five tackles later for a 16-0 lead at the break.
Whenever the Titans attacked they seemed panicked that they wouldn't get another chance to score points while Brisbane's deliberate patience was rewarded time and time again.
It was the classic contest between a team playing with confidence and one searching desperately for it.
Ofahengaue in trouble over lifting tackle
The only sore point for the Broncos on a record-breaking night was a lifting tackle by Joe Ofahengaue on Titans lock forward Max King in the 58th minute.
The incident in front of Brisbane's posts was placed on report by referee Henry Perenara with a Grade 1 charge from the match review committee attracting 100 demerit points, or a Grade 2 charge 300 demerit points.