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Loss will hurt forever but Maroons can hit back: Bennett

Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett believes the Maroons can fight their way back from the 50-6 thrashing to NSW in the Ampol State of Origin series opener in Townsville.

After guiding Queensland to a series win against the odds last year, Bennett was greeted by a fan at Redfern on Friday who asked if he could coach the Maroons again after their heavy defeat on Wednesday.

Bennett smirked before offering a "no" to the passer-by, but already suggested to the media minutes earlier that the Maroons could rebound in Game Two at Suncorp Stadium.

"Nobody is stopping them from turning it around, it's up to them. I think they will," Bennett said.

"Sometimes you have those games. I have coached enough Origins and it happened to me a couple of times. I still can't sleep over it, they live with you forever.

"But there have been games where I just don't know why, but we didn't turn up. It just happens, you just have to get on with it."

Blues centres continue their domination as Mitchell gets his second

Bennett confirmed Damien Cook and Cameron Murray will be rested when the Rabbitohs play the Knights on Saturday but Latrell Mitchell and Jaydn Su'A are set to play.

Mitchell visited his Rabbitohs teammates at training less than 48 hours after starring for the Blues, but didn't train with the side at their final run.

Asked if Mitchell was bouncing off the walls after his Origin I effort, Bennett offered an honest response.

"Not by the way he performed this morning, anything but energy, [but] he will be fine and right for tomorrow," he said.

Rabbitohs v Knights - Round 14

Despite his Maroons allegiances, Bennett said he had enjoyed Mitchell's return to the Origin arena.

"I enjoyed watching him play, I always did even when he wasn't here," he said.

"That's why I was so keen on the opportunity to bring him here. He's a wonderful player and I love the way he plays the game."

Meanwhile, Bennett was confident Maroons centre Dane Gagai hasn't broken his hand, although he's yet to go for scans.

Bennett's plan was always to rest Gagai and Jai Arrow against a Knights outfit that is decimated by injuries.

"They beat Manly the week before, and they have been one of the hot teams of the competition," Bennett said.

"So the last thing we can do is take them lightly tomorrow."


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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