St George Illawarra Dragons centre Tim Lafai admits the team will need to be on point against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Thursday.
The Dragons centre, who notched his first try for the season in the 16-12 win over the Canberra Raiders last round, is expecting a physical encounter on the field and is wary of what to expect from the opposition forward-pack as well as captain Greg Inglis.
The Dragons will be wearing a special Indigenous jersey for the fixture which was designed by local aboriginal artist Lani Balzan and represents the strong connection traditional owners have always had with country.
The Dragons jersey pays its respects to the Dharawal people and incorporates the three major totems of the Whale, Kangaroo and Snake which are all represented on the livery.
“There are a few sore bodies out on the field this week after coming off the win against a big Raiders forward-pack,” said Lafai.
“It’s given us awesome confidence though for the boys coming off that win and it’s good to see us play for the full 80 minutes plus extra time and the effort was there across the field.
“Scoring that try was a long time coming but it was good to get one wearing my new colours.
“The Indigenous Round has been awesome for all the players to get behind and we will be paying our respects by wearing our Indigenous jersey which has important totems incorporated into the design.
“Anything we can do as NRL players to help these local communities and raise awareness is great.
“We need to expect anything to be thrown at us by the Rabbitohs and that includes wherever players like Greg Inglis end up being positioned.
“He could be playing as fullback or five-eighth or even in the centres so wherever he is we need to keep an eye on him.
“Everyone needs to turn-up this round and there will be some big collisions in the middle of the field with their large forward-pack on show so we will need to match them with our defence.”