The return of Latrell Mitchell may have sparked South Sydney's 60-22 NRL win over New Zealand Warriors but rival coach Nathan Brown warned it may have also provided inspiration for his livewire fullback Reece Walsh.
NSW X-factor Mitchell picked up where he left off from his impressive State of Origin campaign to comfortably outpoint opposite number Walsh in the Rabbitohs' 11-try romp at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday.
Back from a post-Origin break, Mitchell dominated to finish with one try and a try assist along with two line breaks and six tackle busts while running 194m in a display that ex-Queensland half Cooper Cronk described on Fox League as "men playing against boys".
In a battle of the No.1s, Walsh came off second best even when he scored his 65th minute try, copping a shoulder knock when tangling with Mitchell as he crashed over.
Townsend bends a kick back inside to Reece Walsh
Brown played down Walsh's shoulder complaint but talked up the lessons learned by the 19-year-old from the round 19 rout, which marked only his 10th NRL game.
He believed the aspiring playmaker would only become better after watching Mitchell as well as Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker in action.
"He would have got a good indication looking at Cody at five-eighth and Latrell at fullback, they are blokes with a lot of experience," Brown said.
"Reece would have got some great lessons on the way those blokes approached the game today.
Mitchell just monsters his way over
"At 18 years of age (sic) he wouldn't be approaching it like that. That's what experience does for you.
"In Reese's case he is going to have a big impact on our footy team as the years go on so some of these tough lessons early he will learn something that will put him in good stead for down the track."
Unlucky not to receive the Wally Lewis Medal as Origin player of the series, Mitchell gave Walsh plenty to chew on in an impressive display that included a ridiculous around-the-corner pass that gifted Cam Murray's try amid South Sydney's 34-point first-half blitz.
Wily Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett clearly relished Mitchell's return but was typically coy when asked if his fullback could reach a new level after dominating the Origin arena.
"His level was pretty high today so if he can go better than that I will be pleased," he smiled.
"It's that long since he played for us I can't remember where he left off."
However, Bennett was more expansive on his forwards who laid the platform for the Rabbitohs to score 60 points in a game for just the fourth time in their rich history.
There was no weak link in the South Sydney pack with back-rowers Jaydn Su'A (222m, two tries) and Keaon Koloamatangi (234m, one try), prop Tom Burgess (144m, two tries), lock Cam Murray (189m, one try) and hooker Damien Cook (three try assists) simply outstanding.
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"I know what the scoreboard said but the forwards laid that up for us," Bennett said after the romp that also featured two tries by winger Josh Mansour.
"Damien (Cook) at dummy half, Mark (Nicholls) and Tom (Burgess) early, Cam Murray was outstanding, our edge forwards were scoring tries - I thought our forwards were outstanding."
Back from a Queensland team camp biosecurity bubble breach ban, Jai Arrow - boasting a brutal buzz cut - also provided punch with 172m off the bench.
"He just got out of prison he reckons, he got the prison hair cut," Bennett said of Arrow.
"He's out of self-detention. He was good. We are pleased to have him back."
Rabbitohs go up another gear as Walker steps his way to a try
Meanwhile, South Sydney will monitor their prized halves Walker and Adam Reynolds after they both set up tries and had two line-break assists each despite nursing niggles.
Walker had his knee heavily strapped in the second half and remained on the field but Reynolds came off in the 59th minute.
Asked if there was a temptation to hook Walker, Bennett said: "There was but he didn't want to come off.
"That's when I realised he wasn't too badly injured.
"We didn't have to keep him on the field but he wanted to stay and do what they do and the way he plays I respect that."
On Reynolds, Bennett said: "He had a little twinge in his hamstring at the beginning of the game.
"He carried it well in the second half.
"It wasn't impacting on the way he played. He was running, doing all the things that he can do so we got him off as a precaution.
"We were lucky to get him for that period of time so we didn't want to extend our luck any further."
Bennett's only other concern was Patrick Mago being placed on report for a late second-half high shot.
Reynolds double pumps and puts Su'A over