Mikaele Ravalawa studied Jorge Taufua's big-hitting highlights in the lead-up to Sunday's clash with Manly but it was the Dragons winger who produced the fireworks.
The Fijian pulled off several driving tackles that brought the Netstrata Jubilee Oval crowd to life in a 34-4 win, overshadowing his Sea Eagles counterpart nicknamed the Grim Reaper.
Taufua, Cade Cust and Brad Parker were among Ravalawa's victims.
"I was watching [Taufua's] videos and everything in the week. He's a good player and I respect him," Ravalawa told NRL.com.
"I always look up to him and he's a good fella."
Aside from his mean defence, Ravalawa carried the ball for 100 metres and scored a try as the Dragons made it three wins from their past five outings.
Dragons v Bulldogs - Round 10
"I'm pretty happy with myself [to] keep on improving every week. I'm getting there and settling down," the 22-year-old said.
"I've got to keep fighting for my position and keep playing on the wing and keep playing hard."
Ravalawa initially played rugby union, including captaining Fiji's under-18s Sevens team, before signing with the Raiders in 2017.
He has come along well since making his NRL debut for the Dragons last year but coach Paul McGregor spoke of the need to be patient with the raw talent, who has scored 17 tries in 27 games.
"Mika's still only a young man in the game and he hasn't played a lot of footy. There's going to be really good nights – and [Sunday] was one of them – and there's going to be tough nights," McGregor said.
"But you've got to persist with people like that because they are going to be very valuable to the club in the long run. He's starting to really develop and back himself and [play] error-free."
Ravalawa is clearly appreciative of McGregor's faith.
"I'm pretty happy for 'Mary' – he always helped me with everything. He's a good fella and he's been there every time I go down or if something happened to me," he said.
Ravalawa, who is contracted to the Dragons until the end of 2023, is also loving lining up outside right centre Zac Lomax.
"[Lomax] is a machine. He's really good. He's still young, he's still getting there, he's still learning as well. It's so good playing with him," he said.
The 20-year-old showed lovely footwork followed by a brilliant flick pass to deliver Ravalawa four points against the Sea Eagles.
Red V rising after Sea Eagles rout
"He just kept on saying to me, 'Just wait, I'll bounce out and I'll flick it to you'," Ravalawa said.
"I was pretty happy for him and the way he responded to me. I just said to him, 'thanks for that'. That was a good one."
St George Illawarra are now one win outside the top eight in 11th place and Ravalawa indicated there is a good vibe at the club.
"We just have to improve every week. The boys keep working hard and the coaches and staff are really into us," he said.
"I believe in the boys and the staff and the coaches."