By Rachael Price
St George Illawarra Dragons prop Jack de Belin knows it will be a tough match against the Sydney Roosters when they clash at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Saturday.
The Cootamundra Bulldogs junior is excited to run out in the ISC Marvel Superheroes Iron Man jersey and feels that Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop has been a fitting face to the campaign.
The 23-year-old feels he has improved greatly since the beginning of the season when he was moved to the Illawarra Cutters and is determined to continue to grow into his role in the side.
“We are expecting the Roosters to fire up against us after their loss last week,” said de Belin.
“They are the reigning Premiers so whether they are coming of a win or a loss they will be going out there to win.
“They’ve been copping a bit of criticism over the past few weeks, just like we did when we were coming off a few losses, but they will use that to fire themselves up.
“We’ve won a few games lately and this game will give us an idea of where we’re at when it comes to the top of the competition.
“We’ve had a few losses to the teams at the top of the ladder but this week is a big challenge but we keep getting better and we’re up for that challenge.
“We’re working hard at training, doing all the little things right and turning up with good attitudes; I think this can be seen in our performances lately.
“Every week we’ve been competitive and this week will be no exception, we’re going to be ready and treat it like any other week.
“It’s fitting that Gareth Widdop is the face of the Iron Man jersey; he’s probably been our best player all year, he gives his all for us and we get so much firepower thanks to him.
“We’re going to look over the footage of our game in the coming training sessions but mostly we’ll be taking the positives out of our performances over the past month.
“We’ve really turned things around over the last couple of weeks.
“Mary has us passing the ball a lot and pushing to support each other; we’re all there for each other which is what we’ve been aiming for.
“I feel that I’ve improved since the start of the season, every week I’ve been lifting my level of performance to where it should be.
“It has taken me a little bit longer than I would have liked but slow progress is better than no progress.
“I feel very confident playing under Mary; he has me playing the way I feel I’m best suited to play.
“Every week we’re all improving but if the forwards aren’t doing their job the back won’t get the runs and be able to do their thing; we all have a job to do and we’re getting more confident in our jobs every week.”