Napa sick of being a loser

Before he joined the Bulldogs in 2019, Dylan Napa was accustomed to success on the football field. There hasn't been much of that at Belmore and the big man has had enough. Subscribe to the Daily Telegraph for the latest news, sport and entertainment.

The prop is accustomed to success having spent his first six seasons at the Sydney Roosters and playing in last year's grand final victory.

But since joining cellar dwellers Canterbury this year, Napa has only played in two wins from nine matches.

It's a woeful record the big man desperately wants to improve when he takes on his former club at the SCG today.

 

Dylan Napa’s competitiveness has been challenged at the rebuilding Bulldogs. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Dylan Napa’s competitiveness has been challenged at the rebuilding Bulldogs. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Napa has been surprised by the Roosters' three-game losing slide but that's where his sympathy for the defending premiers stops.

"They have had a lot of injuries but I'm not really here to talk about them," Napa said.

"I'm more worried about our team and how we can beat them.

"I've got a lot of close mates in that Roosters team. I was there for a few years, so it will be nice to play some good football against those guys and try and beat them."

Napa's competitiveness has been challenged like never before at Canterbury this season.

The once dominant Bulldogs are deep in a rebuilding phase, which is a different world to his previous experience at the ultra-consistent Roosters.

 

Dylan Napa enjoys a winning feeling with former Roosters teammates after the 2018 NRL Grand Final. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Dylan Napa enjoys a winning feeling with former Roosters teammates after the 2018 NRL Grand Final. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

On the plus side, Canterbury's on-field struggles have forced Napa to take on a greater leadership role.

Napa produced his best performance of the season in Queensland's Origin I victory but he still isn't satisfied.

"I guess my Origin game was a step in the right direction but I'm still not happy with losing at club level," he said.

"Any time someone judges my game, I judge it on win or loss column and we've lost more than we've won this year.

"I want to bring the energy and experience that I've learnt from Origin camps and bring it back here to the Dogs.

"I'm playing front-row, so you make the first hit-up off the kick-off or the first tackle.

"Whether you like it or not you are a leader.

"I just want to try and play good football for the team and get a win."

 

Dylan Napa (L) and Kalyn Ponga (R) of the Maroons celebrate victory at the end of game one of the 2019 State of Origin series. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Dylan Napa (L) and Kalyn Ponga (R) of the Maroons celebrate victory at the end of game one of the 2019 State of Origin series. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Canterbury's chances of claiming an inclusive win have received a boost following the mid-season signing of former Penrith flyer Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Napa believes the New Zealand Test captain gives the Bulldogs valuable X-factor with his speed and skill.

"Dallin has captained his country and we are going to need all the experience we can get," Napa said.

"He is an exciting player and he would probably be in the top five fastest players in the competition.

"There are a lot of fast guys out there but he has some wheels."

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