For the first 40 minutes at Bellevue Oval, it looked like two teams with vastly different skill sets were playing.
The Northern Rivers Titans, defending country champions, were sharp - constantly buffeting the Greater Northern Tigers' defensive line with waves of quality offence.
Greater Northern, conversely, looked pedestrian - and clueless once the Titans got into prime scoring positions, with the home side's left edge especially vulnerable.
Titans centre Robert Shepherd and five-eighth Zac Beecher both crossed twice in the first half.
Coming off an opening round 26-20 defeat of North Coast, Greater Northern was shellshocked on a warm autumn day in Armidale on Saturday afternoon.
And the end result of that was six unanswered first-half tries and a halftime score of 28-0.
It would have been a bigger margin had Titans No.7 Kel Sheather kicked straighter (he made two of his six conversion attempts).
Tigers captain Mitch Doring said post-match that his side had to "dig down deep and find something" in the second half, and "we found something".
That they did - with the Tigers lifting and the Titans dulling considerably.
Following tries to Boggabri rake Matt Gillham, who went from dummy half on the tryline, and winger Harry Douglass, who pounced on a close-range grubber from Doring, it was 28-10.
And it remained that way for most of the second half, before a late Titans try made it 34-10 at full time.
Doring praised his teammates for lifting after the break.
"They're [the Titans] a good side," he said. "We gave them plenty of possession too early in the first half.
"Giving a good team early possession, they showed us what they can do with the ball and they just keep rolling up the middle."
"As the captain of this under-23 Tigers, I'm proud of second-half effort," he added.
The loss means the Tigers failed to make the semi-finals.
NORTHERN RIVERS TITANS 34 (Robert Shepherd 2, Zac Beecher 2, Michael Schipp, Rhys Riches, Lachie Perren tries; Kel Sheather 3 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 10 (Matt Gillham, Harry Douglass tries; Will Nieuwenhuise goal).