Thaiday sets challenge for Napa
He has had the rugby league world in raptures for his one-man demolition job on the Rabbitohs last week but Broncos veteran Sam Thaiday says the challenge now for Dylan Napa is to back it up.
Playing the entire 80 minutes in the Roosters' first win of the season last Friday night, Napa's solo 'seek and destroy' mission yielded a try, five tackle busts, 141 running metres and 51 bone-rattling tackles.
Twice he knocked Sam Burgess flat on his back with perfect front-on contact and had former Warriors coach Matt Elliott singing his praises in his weekly NRL.com video analysis, The Breakdown.
"What Dylan Napa is doing better than anyone else in the competition at the moment is a late surge to make tackles," Elliott pointed out in his in-depth review of Napa's impressive display.
"What an amazing individual performance from this young man, Dylan Napa."
A ban for breaking curfew has put Napa's Origin ambitions on hold for the next 12 months at least but Thaiday has no doubt that if he continues to produce those types of performances that he will become a cornerstone of the Queensland and Australia forward packs for many years to come.
"It was an amazing effort and fantastic to see Dylan taking that step up for the Roosters and really helping them get the victory," Thaiday said ahead of the Broncos' meeting with the Knights at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
"Dylan's challenge now is to try and repeat that effort and that will be a great sign for the Roosters and I'm sure going forward for Queensland and Australia as well.
"He's going to be a player that's going to take over a Matt Scott role or James Tamou role in that Australian team and then take over that Queensland role as well.
"It's great to see Dylan Napa really having a crack and hopefully we can see more of those efforts."
With Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves still a month from returning to the Roosters forward pack Napa's next assignment is the Panthers at Allianz Stadium on Monday night.
According to Thaiday the missing presence of Waerea-Hargreaves has contributed to the Roosters' slow start to the season but believes Napa is developing into the type of player that the opposition try to steer clear of.
"He was very fearless in that game and that's something the Roosters have probably been lacking at the start of the season, someone to stand up and really lead their team," Thaiday said.
"With Jared on the sideline he's one of their spiritual and emotional leaders and Dylan took that role up himself and put his hand up and had a real good crack for the team."