Bird a fan of Napa's mean streak
In an age where genuine enforcers are becoming something of a dying breed, Dylan Napa's one-man demolition job on the Rabbitohs in Round 6 caught the eye of another NRL star with an aggressive approach to his football.
Watching from his home on the Gold Coast, you can imagine more than a smirk sneaking across the face of Titans lock Greg Bird as Napa delivered arguably the most sustained game of bone-jarring defence that we have seen in a decade.
By the end of the 80 minutes Souths players were like deer caught in a blinding spotlight, a spotlight that will on Monday night be turned towards Bird and his Gold Coast forward pack.
Bolstered by the returns of Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in recent weeks, the Roosters forward pack is regaining its menacing look but it is Napa who Bird believes is capable of causing the most damage.
"I love watching him play," said Bird, who will be proudly wearing the Titans' Indigenous Round jersey for the clash.
"I love his tenacity and aggression and how he approaches his game.
"It probably doesn't sound nice to people but he wants to hurt people. You can see that, that's the way I like to play, that's rugby league forwards.
"The best forwards are like that, they want to go out there and intimidate the opposition and I think in that Souths game he definitely did that, and he did it pretty much on his own.
"That game he played the other week where he bashed Souths senseless pretty much on his own… He's going to be a handful on Monday.
"By the same token I've been pretty impressed with what our middle's done through the start of the year."
While Bird is impressed with the quality of the forward pack that the Roosters will bring to Cbus Super Stadium, he believes the return of halfback Mitchell Pearce in Round 9 has had the greatest influence on their fortunes.
Pearce scored a try and was sharp in the Roosters' 38-0 flogging of the Knights and for Bird reaffirmed what he has learned from playing Origin together for New South Wales.
Bird didn't want to discuss reports that Pearce has decided to make himself unavailable for the Blues this year, only to reaffirm his own faith in what Pearce brings to the team.
"He's one of my favourite players to play with and it's going to be tough coming up against him," said Bird, with the Titans trying to arrest a five-game losing streak.
"There are a lot of things that are going on in Pearcey's life and if that's where he's at, that's where he's at.
"I'd love to have him in the New South Wales team because I always think he's one of the best halves in NSW but it is what it is.
"We probably haven't got them at the most convenient time. They were starting to get back to their best form last week against the Knights and having Pearcey back to steer the ship is probably their biggest acquisition in the last couple of weeks.
"They've probably looked a little bit lost and he's a gun."
Currently tracing back his own Indigenous family history, Bird will wear boots designed by Indigenous artist Janelle McQueen that represent his ancestry and for the first time in his career a special Indigenous Round jersey.
"It's a bit of a learning experience for me but I'm very proud of my background and this is an opportunity to represent all the Indigenous people out there," said the 32-year-old.
"Having these great artists involved with the club and helping to make money and awareness for the charity groups is fantastic."
The boots of the Titans' Indigenous players and all 17 Indigenous Round jerseys will be auctioned off through www.titans.com.au with proceeds going to Deadly Choices and the Preston Campbell Foundation.