South Sydney coach John Lang has a major headache ahead of the Rabbitohs’ opening match of the NRL season after a 42-4 flogging by Gold Coast on Saturday night.

Already missing star signing Greg Inglis and with fellow internationals Sam Burgess, Isaac Luke and Michael Crocker under injury clouds as well, Lang’s worries were heightened with a further injury to backrower Ben Lowe during the trial match in Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.

Even accounting for the absence of his stars Lang would also be holding serious doubts over his attacking options as the tried and tested halves combination of Chris Sandow and John Sutton was virtually impotent against the Titans.

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright has no such worries.

In his first match at five-eighth for the Titans since Mat Rogers retired, Greg Bird overcame a shaky start to work into some form, culminating in a try in the 69th minute.

Gold Coast dominated early but were unable to convert opportunities, leading only 8-0 at half time.

But the introduction of Preston Campbell after the main break caused the spark for Gold Coast as he scored two of their six second-half tries.

“He (Preston Campbell) has to be there, he just bobs up in the right place all of the time,” said Cartwright.

“It’s no coincidence that as soon as he got out there he made two breaks and scored a couple of tries.

“He just has that natural know how of where to be.”

“We had a lot more numbers than Souths and they got a bit tired towards the end of the game but we stuck to it and I think it turned out good.”

Lang took nothing positive from the performance of his men.

“We were flat as tacks, terrible,” he said.

“I thought we had a bit of energy last week but we had no energy at all tonight.

“Our halves struggled, our forwards struggled, everybody struggled.

“I reckon there might have been three blokes who looked good at times but we were terrible.

“I can’t believe they’re unfit with all of the training they’ve done.

“You lack a certain amount of match fitness but we were just flat for whatever reason.”

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