Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa says he’s haunted by the brain snap which cost him a likely Queensland debut this year and dwells on his mistake several times a week.
The firebrand front-rower made a near irresistible case for a call up into Kevin Walters’ Origin squad after blowing his South Sydney opposites off the park in the Tricolours’ 17-10 win at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Napa dominated the Rabbitohs forwards, pulling off some of the biggest hits seen on an NRL field this year, laying the platform for his side’s first win of the season.
Napa was one of eight players to be told by Queensland team management they won’t be considered this year after breaking curfew during an Emerging Origin camp.
His performance against the Rabbitohs brought home just how close he is to Origin and just how big a price he is paying.
Asked how often his thinks about his mistake, he said: “It’s a good question. Maybe a couple times a week.
“But that’s done. What can I do?”
Napa got through a mountainous 40 tackles and ran for 151 metres in a man of the match performance which was described by former Roosters coach and commentator Phil Gould as one of the best displays he’d ever seen by a prop.
Not only that, it was his first 80-minute performance playing as a middle forward at NRL level, proving that his endurance is quickly improving.
The Brisbane-born prop showed little regard for reputation as he zeroed in on Rabbitohs star Sam Burgess nearly every time he touched the ball.
“I respect Sam Burgess and the way he plays,” Napa said.
“I was so disappointed when he went to rugby union.
“When he came back everyone was very excited. I think he left as probably one of the best forwards in the game.
“I thought it was a bit of respect to go at him tonight. I’m just trying to get a bit of respect off him and do what’s best for our team.”