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St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team halfback Jack Payne is pumped-up to tackle the Sydney Roosters in their Preliminary Final fixture at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Friday.

The Young Dragons enter the encounter on the back of a seven-day respite as a result of their nail-biting extra-time win over the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane in the Qualifying Final.

Payne, who was recently named in the ‘NYC Academic Team of the Year’, notes that despite the excitement at the task ahead, both he and his teammates remain grounded with the task which awaits.

“All the boys are pumped for the game and we had a really good week at training,” said Payne.

“We have been in that state of mind since the win over the Cowboys and we’re aware that this is one of our most important games of the year.

“If we can win this one it sets us up for hopefully a good end to the season.

“We have built our momentum up and had a really tough session towards the end of last week on Thursday after using the days prior to get rid of any niggling injuries.

“We didn’t have the best start to a season so it was really good to get to where we are now and that’s a credit to the boys.

“We know now that there is one game left before there are any thoughts of the Grand Final and the Roosters will prove tough opposition.”

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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