Sydney Roosters enforcer Dylan Napa says he’s being unfairly targetted by NRL officials because of his fearsome reputation but it won’t force him to tone down his aggression.
Napa came up with a huge hit on on Taane Milne late in his side’s Anzac Day loss to St George Illawarra which forced the ball free in prime field position.
His elation was quickly dampened after the bunker overruled the on-field officials and Napa was put on report, snatching away their chance to push for a late try to win the match.
Napa was later vindicated when he was not charged by the match review committee and on Thursday said he believed he was only penalised because of his aggressive attitude.
“I reckon if Jake Friend did it, he wouldn’t have got penalised,” said Napa.
“That’s the way I play and that’s what I’ve got to cop.”
Napa was subsequently cleared because evidence suggested Milne had been knocked out by a head clash with Roosters second-rower Boyd Cordner.
Under NRL rules, the bunker can only intervene if it’s a reportable offence. And while Napa was not charged by the MRC, referees boss Tony Archer this week defended his video refs, saying they were right to step in because Napa had made contact with Milne’s head.
Asked about not being cited, a wry smile flashed across Napa’s face: “Funny that. I’ve seen a lot of head clashes that were complete accidents, no one leads with a head into another player’s head.
“Boyd, he was quite concussed,” said Napa.
“Not as much as Taane, who is a close friend of mine and I texted him after the game to check on his well being.
“A lot of head clashes are complete accidents and it’s play on.”
Napa has this year cultivated a reputation as one of the game’s hardest hitters and almost single-handedly spurred the Roosters to their only win of the year so far – a round-six 17-10 defeat of South Sydney.
However Napa said he wouldn’t be softening his approach for fear of losing his edge.
“If a tackle is dangerous then you should get in trouble,” Napa said.
“I feel like I push the boundaries, that’s the way I play, it’s got me where I got.
“If I didn’t I’d probably be sitting at home watching the game, not playing it. So I won’t be changing anytime soon.”