Souths will cope without Mitchell: Bennett

·2-min read

Wayne Bennett is adamant South Sydney can handle the suspension-enforced absence of Latrell Mitchell over the next month.

A day after Bennett smashed the NRL's match review process and accused them of being influenced by the media, Bennett backed his side to cope without their No.1 player.

The superstar fullback will be absent for Friday's clash on the Gold Coast after copping a four-game ban from the NRL judiciary.

Mitchell was charged for three separate incidents during last weekend's win over Wests Tigers.

Having dealt with Mitchell's absences due to injury last year, Bennett is confident the Rabbitohs' form won't suffer without the 23-year-old.

"We played a lot of games last year without him. We got the job done," Bennett said.

"I don't think anybody's lacking any confidence here that we're going to be able to move on and get it done."

With Mitchell unavailable, Alex Johnston moves to fullback and Jaxson Paulo comes on to the wing for Souths, who have won five straight.

There's one other change to the backline with Dane Gagai moving to the wing to replace injured Josh Mansour (hamstring) and Steven Marsters coming into the side.

Of more concern to Bennett than Mitchell is a Titans team that will be eager to show last weekend's 36-0 humiliation by Manly in Mudgee was an aberration.

"I'm pretty certain they'll want to make up for what they did last week. That makes them pretty formidable," Bennett said.

"They've had a pretty good start the season, they just had a bad weekend and they'll want to prove to everybody that's not who they are.

"We'll have quite a game on our hands."

Despite that heavy loss, Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook has resisted the urge to make wholesale changes with winger Anthony Don returning from a hip injury and Moeaki Fotuaika to start in place of the suspended Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.

Friday's match will be the return of South Sydney backrower Jai Arrow to his former stomping ground for the first time as the Titans look to claim their first win over the Rabbitohs at Cbus Super Stadium since 2009.