South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has hailed the rise of second-rower Angus Crichton after his coming-of-age performance in their NRL win over Gold Coast.
Crichton bagged his first career hat-trick - and seventh try in seven games - to help the Rabbitohs come back from 14 points down to defeat the Titans 36-20 at ANZ Stadium on Friday.
He finished the match with a team-high 194 metres, seven tackle busts and four line breaks in what was easily his best outing since making his debut last year.
Maguire insists he isn't surprised at how rapidly Crichton, who has now played 10 straight games in the starting line-up, has developed.
"I've obviously had a lot of time with Angus now. His first couple of years with us, he's had quite a number of injuries so he hasn't been able to get his game out there," Maguire said.
"But I've always seen signs that he's going to develop into a great player.
"He hadn't played for those two years where he was fighting through injury, and just missed a bit of his development in learning the game.
"But he's spent a fair bit of time with our senior guys and talks to them about footy.
"He's got a thirst to learn the game, which I think is probably one of his biggest strengths."
Veteran teammate John Sutton admitted the current incarnation of Crichton is a far cry from the unpolished product that arrived at Redfern three years ago.
"When he first come in, he was just raw. Had the strength but just didn't know how to use it," Sutton said.
"At training he'd just go 100 miles an hour and get tired real quick.
"But he's definitely developing rapidly. It's good to see his runs are very powerful and his (defence) is very solid.
"I'm just very proud of the way he's been going."