Melbourne’s Ryan Papenhuyzen is ready for a fullback face off with Rabbitohs star James Tedesco.
Former teammates at the Wests Tigers, the duo are set for a showdown in Saturday night’s preliminary final at the SCG.
Papenhuyzen recalls looking up to Tedesco during their days at the Tigers.
“He [Tedesco] would always say g’day when he walked past in the corridors,” Papenhuyzen told NRL.com.
“Those sort of people you always have a bit of a relationship with as you respect that sort of thing being a young player.
“He has had a similar journey. He had heaps of injuries through his junior career and he is a star of the game now.
“He has had his own adversity and so have I, so I sort of look up to him in that regard.”
Papenhuyzen said he and Tedesco have remained friends.
“We are mates, we chat, but we won’t be mates on the weekend,” Papenhuyzen said.
“After the game we will sit down and talk … we are enemies on the weekend now.
“I have got to do lots of video on him and make sure we shut him down because he is very dangerous.”
Despite coming off an impressive win over the Eels on the weekend, Papenhuyzen believes the Storm will need to step it up a notch to take down the reigning premiers.
“They [the Roosters] are flying at the moment and we will need to be better than we were against Parra,” he said.
“We need to keep stepping up from here, as I keep being told by all the senior boys so we need to take our game to the next level.”
The Roosters and Storm will square off at 7:05pm in Saturday night’s SCG clash, with the winner going through to the grand final.