St George Illawarra Dragons winger Jason Nightingale is aware of the privilege that comes with contesting the ANZAC Day Cup against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Monday.
The New Zealand international is humbled that he and his teammates are able to compete in the annual traditional contest due to the sacrifice of many which this day honours and remembers.
The Red-and-Whites enter the contest on the back of 19-14 win over the Gold Coast Titans last round, their first win from three fixtures against Queensland-based opposition, with Nightingale confident the team is now well placed momentum-wise.
“Personally I feel very privileged to be part of this day and being able to commemorate it the way we do with rugby league,” said Nightingale.
“It is a pleasure to be part of the day and to be part of the occasion commemorating something so important.
“I remember that all of a sudden the clouds just came across and everything had been looking awesome, then it started hailing.
“I remember we were ahead on the scoreboard at that time and being the position we were in we turned it into a defensive-based game.
“It was definitely one to remember but not the prettiest of games and a lot different to most years.
“Obviously going scoreless to weeks in a row wasn’t ideal so to get some points on the board last round gave us the confidence to know we can do just that.
“We always had it but we were up against two good teams before that but getting a good start against the Titans was important and managing to defend the way we did was another important part of our learning.
“We relaxed a little preparing for the Titans last week having had a pretty tough road trip against the Cowboys and Broncos before that and it took its toll on us.
“This week we have had a longer turnaround and more intense training to make sure we do prepare for the Monday afternoon game.”