Wayne Bennett has seen it all in 818 games of coaching so insisted he wasn't worried despite South Sydney trailing by 12 just moments after delivering a halftime message instructing the side to deliver the complete opposite in the second half.

Bennett sent a simple message to his "flat" outfit to lift after the break but the words didn't sink in until the final 20 minutes of an enthralling 28-24 Rabbitohs win at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

The Rabbitohs enjoyed 58 percent of possession in the opening 40 minutes but couldn't kick away from a gallant Warriors side, who lost Blake Green in the warm-up to a groin problem.

"Strangely enough I was more worried long before we were down 24-12," Bennett said.

"I wasn't worried when we were down 24-12. There was a lot of time left in the game and we were picking up the momentum we lost.

"The rhythm wasn't there, it was stop-start, and I said to our assistant coach we're starting to get back into a groove and we'll be OK.

"I said to them at halftime they were playing flat and I wanted to them to pick it up in the second half.

Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook.
Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"For 10 minutes we didn't pick it up and they were up 24-12. For the last 30 minutes we got back in the game and started to own the game."

Highlight reels will be dominated by Cody Walker's four-try heroics and Damien Cook's first-half assist but the turning point for the Rabbitohs came in the 61st minute.

A huge hit from Sam Burgess on David Fusitu'a kick-started the momentum for Bennett's men after Adam Reynolds had given away a seven-tackle set.

Fill-in Warriors five-eighth Peta Hiku fumbled a ball a minute later to allow the Rabbitohs to strike.

"Sam's a leader of the team and showed that with what he did," Bennett said.

"He knew that's what they needed. We were starting to get back into it, he just helped put a bit more to it for us."

The Rabbitohs' win in front of a sell-out crowd of 11,912 on the Sunshine Coast was the first NRL fixture at the venue with the club set to return for at least the next two seasons.