By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
St George Illawarra Dragons winger Jason Nightingale believes the team are mentally prepared to face the Gold Coast Titans at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Friday.
The local Renown United junior said a lack of respect towards the competition was cause for the Dragons' last start 36-6 loss to the Sea Eagles in Round 17.
The Kiwis veteran said the Dragons' were too busy thinking about the bye ahead and not the task at hand.
But with Parramatta being stripped of 12 competition points the Dragons moved into the top eight courtesy of their Round 18 bye.
"We were definitely guilty of not turning up with the right mindset and we didn't give the competition enough respect," Nightingale said of the Sea Eagles clash.
"With eight games to go, we want to win as many as we can but we can't look too far ahead. Although it's a shame for Parramatta, it presents us with an opportunity to make sure we can consolidate a spot."
Furthermore, Tyson Frizell's confidence has gone through the roof ever since his starring State of Origin debut in Game Two according to his teammate.
Frizell will line up for his second Origin on Wednesday night and Nightingale said he's noticed a certain swagger about the 24-year-old since he finally threw on the sky blue jumper for the first time.
Set to line up in the front row for the Dragons on Friday night against the Titans, Frizell's Origin debut has done wonders for his stature around downtown Cronulla.
Draw Widget - Round 19 - Dragons vs Titans”We went to Ham Cafe the other day – Friz was having a coffee with Benji (Marshall) and I – and he received a standing ovation so he started bowing," Nightingale told NRL.com.
"They love their footy there and he lives around the corner so there all his locals. I don't think he's paid for a meal since.
"It seems like he has a bit more strut around him now too, he's a humble guy but that confidence has really been great for him."
Frizell took to State of Origin like a duck to water which came as no surprise to Nightingale who has played with the former Wales international for the past four seasons.
"Tyson should've played Origin two years ago but we always knew that he was going to excel as soon as he arrived in that arena. He's that sort of bloke," Nightingale said.
"He trains 100 miles an hour and everything he does is at 100 per cent so nobody is surprised to see him play as well as he did.
"It was always inevitable that when he earned that opportunity he was going to be great so Tyson's come back here with a lot more confidence since his Origin debut."