Cody Ramsay will have nightmares about David Fifita after he was monstered by the Gold Coast star in St George Illawarra's 32-10 NRL loss.
After a sorry performance for the Titans last week, the Queensland Origin second-rower was idling on the bench for 23 minutes against the Dragons before he was unleashed for impact.
The surprise tactic worked a treat for coach Justin Holbrook who has struggled to get consistency out of his marquee signing this season.
Fifita terrorised centre Ramsay and halfback Ben Hunt on the Dragons' left edge and was on the field for just 11 minutes when he bumped them both off to score a freakish solo try.
He was denied a second under the sticks early in the second half after he was stripped by Jack Bird, but in the next set he steamrolled Ramsay to set up Greg Marzhew with a flick pass to put the Titans ahead 18-6.
The 21-year-old finished with a whopping eight tackle-breaks, two linebreaks, a try, a try-assist and 111 metres in the important victory.
"Possibly, yeah," Holbrook said when asked if he'd play Fifita in a similar way over the last six games.
"We had our first chance at it today and it worked well which is a good sign.
"The impact that he brings is massive for us, he's such a good player and we've got to be smart with how we use him."
It's the first time this season the Titans have beaten a top eight side.
The victory was crucial for the Titans to stay in touch with the top eight but came as a double blow for the Dragons who will quickly need to find form among a log-jam of teams fighting for two finals spots.
A career-first double from Jarrod Wallace heaped more punishment on the Dragons' middle defence, while rookie Titans halfback Toby Sexton had a dream debut.
Filling in for Jamal Fogarty, the 20-year-old scored an opportunistic try midway through the second half and was calm with the boot to kick six from six conversions.
His bombs also put pressure on Dragons fullback Matt Dufty who had a tough afternoon under the high ball.
Just a 68 per cent completion rate stifled any chance of meaningful attack from the Dragons who had even share of the ball but couldn't use it.
Hunt and Jordan Pereira were the two try-scorers for the Dragons, who now face an uphill battle to stay in the top eight with Canberra and Cronulla closing in.
The eighth-placed Dragons now face South Sydney twice, the Raiders, Penrith, Sydney Roosters and North Queensland to close out the season.
"It is tough, but NRL seasons are tough and ours has been particularly tough with some of the things we've had to go through, but it's only going to make us stronger and better, we've just got to keep going with it," Dragons coach Anthony Griffin said.
Australian Associated Press