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Rejuvenated Studdon up for the challenge against old club

Dragons halfback Maddie Studdon insists she bears no bitterness towards the Roosters as she prepares to face her former NRLW club for a likely grand final berth.

Spruiked as a marquee signing for the Roosters in the competition's inaugural season, Studdon struggled and was dropped after two matches, watching on as they lost to Brisbane in the decider.

The tough campaign also resulted in the 24-year-old being axed by the Jillaroos.

While Studdon has rediscovered the fun in footy as a Dragon, the playmaker said she remains on good terms with the Roosters and took ownership for their failed union.

"Last year I wasn't playing good football and that's on me. I had to turn that around this year," Studdon told

"I enjoyed my experience there at the Roosters but I'm enjoying it even more now because I'm playing good footy. We've got a great club here and a great support system.

"I wouldn't take back last year because I was very grateful. This year's very different and I'm enjoying my footy - and that's the main thing.

"I spoke to [Roosters player development manager] Craig Walker and the Roosters this year at the nationals.

"They showed their respect and I still have respect for the Sydney Roosters. They treated me and the girls like queens last year so it's just a thing that happens in rugby league ... I decided to change and I'm so happy the way I went with it."

With one win and a +10 differential total after two rounds, St George Illawarra are well placed for a spot in the grand final if they beat the winless Roosters in Sunday's standalone fixture at Leichhardt Oval.

The enormity of the occasion and the chance to take on some old friends has Studdon buzzing.

"I'm actually so excited. Obviously I miss a couple of my teammates, being around them, but that's footy and I've joined a lot of good teammates here," she said.

"I can't wait to get out there and represent the Red V. We've just got to play the same way and stick to our game plan and just be patient. And obviously have some fun as well."

Following on from last weekend's 26-6 win over the Warriors, Keeley Davis will again partner Studdon in the halves with star five-eighth Kimiora Nati unavailable.

Studdon said the change hasn't disrupted the team.

"[Davis has] slotted in quite well. The thing is, we've been rotating at training ... She held her own and I'm looking forward to working with her this week."

Dragons looking to build on winning momentum

Two try assists and two line break assists in the Warriors victory have topped up Studdon's confidence heading into the last regular-season round.

"It's what a half should be doing," said Studdon, who was Player of the Match in NSW's mid-year State of Origin win versus Queensland.

Having captain and back-rower Kezie Apps running off her hip has helped, with the pair recapturing the chemistry they've shown at representative level.

"It's always good to be back out there with Kez. A couple years ago we had our good combination and we've had a couple of mixed combinations this year. Her being back on my side is really good," Studdon said.

"We've been working really hard on our combinations at training and some of our shapes. She did an unreal job on the weekend, she had a lot of carries and lot of metres. Hopefully we do that again this week."

Every NRLW try from Round 2

Apps returned the compliments to the No.7.

"It's really cool that we get to work with each other more now and see some positive things in our combination," Apps said.

"To run those holes is what I love doing as a second-rower, hitting those short lines, and when it pays off it's really good.

"But sometimes you have to take the whacks for the little speedy girls outside to score us a try. That's what I'm willing to do all day for my teammates."

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