CAIRNS, Qld - Supercoach Wayne Bennett says doubts remain about South Sydney's premiership credentials despite their 50-10 thrashing of his injury-hit Newcastle Knights at Barlow Park in Cairns on Sunday.
Knights skipper Kurt Gidley admitted his side were "blown off the park" by the Rabbitohs in Newcastle's biggest-ever loss to Souths before 11,570 fans.
After taking their round-21 home game to the North Queensland centre, Souths led 26-0 at halftime after laying on five tries, and a try to stand-in skipper Greg Inglis just after the resumption stretched their lead to 32-0 to put the result beyond doubt.
With captain and regular five-eighth John Sutton sidelined alongside Sam Burgess, the big win was a vote of confidence for Souths' coach Michael Maguire's new halves combination of Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary.
The win puts Souths second on the NRL ladder, two wins behind leaders Manly and ahead of Penrith on for and against.
But Bennett, a seven-time premiership winner, said he wasn't sure Souths' simple style of football could finally end their five decade long premiership drought.
"It didn't work for them last year so it is debatable," Bennett said.
"They were good today, that is all you can take from it. They run hard and tackle in numbers.
"If you can't stop them, there is enough strike power in the team and ability in that team and they have a pretty hardened footy team that have been doing it for two or three years."