Napa a defensive weapon for Roosters
The NRL Telstra Premiership is littered with players that we call attacking weapons. These are the players that can change a match with the ball in hand, through a blockbusting line break, a perfect kick or a brilliant flick pass.
But in Dylan Napa the NRL also has a genuine defensive star.
Not in the mould of an Alan Tongue or Dallas Johnson, the type that would churn out 60 plus tackles week in week out, Napa is a genuine game changer in the way he defends and that was again evident on Sunday afternoon against the Raiders.
Above and beyond his usual crunching midfield tackles, of which Raiders forward Paul Vaughan was on the wrong end of more than his fair share, Napa was also making cover tackles and try-savers that weren't in his job description.
In the 54th minute he chased down a flying Edrick Lee in cover defense, almost bundling him into touch in the process, then again in the 67th he cut down Mitch Cornish with a genuine try saver on the line as the Raider looked certain to cross.
Asked what emphasis he places on his defensive game, Napa said it's something that every member of the Roosters team takes pride in.
"We as a team do pride ourselves on our defence, we believe defence wins games so yeah we put a lot of effort into it and our attack runs off the back of that," Napa told NRL.com.
"I used to be a little bit loose with my defence but I'm just trying to do what's best for the team so if I see a moment to put a big shot on I'll take it, just whatever is best for the team," he said.
In terms of the second-half effort, which saw Napa chase down Lee to bring him down from behind, the super-sub said he was fortunate to be in a position to make the stop.
"I think I was just in the right place at the right time with that one, I was just lucky enough to get there to bring him down, but unfortunately I couldn't take him out."
Napa's efforts in defense didn't exactly change the result of the match, which finished 34-6 to the Roosters, however they reflected the great winning attitude the Roosters possess at the moment.
"I think we prepared really well for this game, as we did for most games, we believe good preparation wins us games so it's been a big week at training," he said.
"The Raiders were in there for a long time and we never counted them out, we never thought we were going to beat them easily at all but it was just good to get a few points on the board."
Napa also credited a superb performance by his side's star halves pairing after the win.
"In particular the halves had a field day and again that comes back to our preparation. We as a team prepared ourselves for that all week so it wasn't really a surprise."