Napa stars in Roosters' first win of the year
A huge showing from prop Dylan Napa has helped the Sydney Roosters to their first win of the season in a 17-10 upset over the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night.
Napa lasted the entire 80 minutes in one of the biggest showings you're ever likely to see in the modern era from a front-rower, where he produced a try as well as a whopping 141 metres and 54 tackles.
The Roosters' win helped them avoid their worse start to a season in five decades after their 1966 outfit failed to win a single game that year.
However the Roosters were somewhat surprisingly early leaders with South Sydney dominating early proceedings.
It came from a long winding break from skipper Jake Friend which left South Sydney’s defence all over the place. It allowed Jackson Hastings on the next tackle to kick wide for a completely free Daniel Tupou to score.
A Tricolours' 10-0 lead became a reality in the 26th minute when Aidan Guerra ran on to a handy Friend ball through a gaping hole in the middle of South Sydney's defence to score under the back dot.
South Sydney fans were treated to some relief in the 35th minute when a magic Hymel Hunt tap-on pass allowed winger Aaron Gray to score out wide, ensuring a 10-4 Roosters half-time lead.
The Roosters added more points when Napa scored six minutes into the second half. It came from a Hastings kick, which was initially missed by Guerra who ended up tangled with Greg Inglis, giving the prop an opportunity to pounce on the scraps.
Napa's four-pointer came just moments after he prevented Rabbitohs hooker Cameron McInnes from equalling the scoreline.
Not even a streaker in the final quarter of the game could dull the Roosters' onslaught, with Hastings putting the cherry on top with a 75th minute field goal to secure the win –Cody Walker's consolation four-pointer not enough to send Rabbitohs fans home happy.
The Rabbitohs still managed to claim the Ron Coote Cup thanks to a dominant win over the Roosters in Round 1.
"I'm satisfied definitely," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.
"I thought the boys turned up and did really well there. I think they handled the physical start and kept at it.
"It was a pretty open game to start, and they were pushing us back with their kicks and goal line drop outs, but I thought we kept it on for 80 minutes which was good."
Sydney Roosters 17 (Daniel Tupou, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa tries; Jackson Hastings 2 goals; Jackson Hastings field goal) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 (Aaron Gray, Cody Walker tries; Bryson Goodwin goal) at ANZ Stadium. Crowd: 18,161. Half-time: Roosters 10-4. Injuries: Sio Siua Taukeiaho (medial).