I’m expecting the fast-approaching 2020 season to be one of the closest we’ve ever seen.
The Sydney Roosters have signalled an ominous warning to their premiership rivals with a merciless 58-6 demolition of hapless Gold Coast at the SCG.
Veteran winger Brett Morris recorded a hat trick, while star duo James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell bagged try doubles on Sunday.
Mitchell also kicked nine goals from 10 attempts for a 26-point haul.
The Roosters entered the clash minus four key men in Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and co-captains Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner.
But it mattered little for the defending premiers, who cracked the half-century for the first time since 1937 on their way to moving up to second spot.
For the Titans, and incoming coach Justin Holbrook, the 52-point margin fell two points shy of the club’s heaviest defeat.
Not even the anticipated return of star Ash Taylor could give them a lift, with the troubled playmaker barely a factor in the performance.
The signs for the visitors were dire the moment Tedesco strolled through untouched off an Angus Crichton offload in the fifth minute.
What followed was a 12-minute exhibition from one of the game’s best finishers.
First was Morris being ready to collect after Joseph Manu’s tackle break and offload to become just the 12th player in premiership history to score 150 tries.
Second was Morris holding his width to take Tedesco’s cutout pass.
It wasn’t even Morris’ quickest hat trick of the year, having achieved the feat in a stunning 12-minute blitz during the preseason World Club Challenge in February.
The 32-year-old joins the top-10 all-time tryscorers on 152 alongside Harold Horder and Manu Vatuvei.
The procession continued in the second half when Tedesco finished off a set play and Cooper Cronk notched his 100th career try, both assisted by Victor Radley.
Mitchell snuck over for his brace in the final quarter of the match, with Titans playmaker Ryley Jacks crossing for a consolation try in between.
The two tries for Mitchell moves him to 14 for the season, equal with Ken Maumalo and Maika Sivo at the top of the list.
Rookie Sam Verrills completed the rout with his first career try on fulltime.
Further souring the defeat for the Titans was a first-half hamstring injury to off-contract fullback Michael Gordon.