Happy hooker Cook stars twice in a week with a point to prove

It's fair to say Damien Cook has had a big week.

On Wednesday he was one of the best on ground in a losing effort in Origin III, with 94 metres and 46 tackles.

He would have been forgiven for being a bit below his best when taking the field for Souths just three days later, but instead he was again one of the best on ground in Saturday's impressive 24-6 win over his former club Canterbury.

He cut the Bulldogs to pieces through the middle – as he has done to most teams this year – in racking up 122 metres to go with another 46 tackles.

Addressing media in the sheds post game looking as fresh as a daisy, Cook said not only was it important to him to come back and play well for his club – he was excited to do so given what is building at Redfern.

"It has been a big week but I was really looking forward to getting back to Souths because it's exciting stuff here the moment," Cook said.

"We're going well but we feel like there's still a lot to work on so we want to get that perfect before we go into the finals."

NSW coach Brad Fittler said repeatedly through the Origin campaign he wants his players to go back and play well for their clubs - and Cook very much lived that mantra on Saturday.

"Freddie was big [on that] through the whole camp, when you go back to your teams go back there and play your best footy for them," Cook said.

"I believe they're a big reason why I was able to play Origin, because of my teammates here playing good footy and allowing me to play good footy so I want to come back and repay them and play consistent footy going forward."

A couple of big days of rehab helped him push through the Origin fatigue and bruises, he said, while there was no challenge mentally in getting up for the club game.

"I think it's more just getting the body right. I spent a big day [Friday] after captain's run just doing recovery stuff, cryotherapy, float tanks and massage just trying to make sure I'm in the best shape possible and recovered as much going into the game. Mental side was no problem at all because I was excited to come back and play," he said.

Cook's efforts drew plenty of praise from his coach Anthony Seibold but the Bunnies mentor also hinted a rest may still be on the cards for Cook and his fellow Origin stars Angus Crichton and Dane Gagai at some point.

"Our performance staff, Paul Devlin, Jarrod Wade, they've done an exceptional job managing their load," Seibold said.

"They've missed a game already [after Origin I], they've missed a block of training already.

"I wanted them to play this week, I thought it was really important they back up.

"They've got a couple of days off now. Over the next couple of weeks we've individualised their programs... from my experience being an assistant coach at that [Origin] level and being at another club where there were a lot of reps and you have to manage their programs. They're three good young blokes who apply themselves well."