Dylan Napa will return from suspension in Sunday’s grand final. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.
Dylan Napa will return from suspension in Sunday’s grand final. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

Roosters hitman sets his sights on Storm

YOU want the good news or the bad news?

The good news for Sydney Roosters fans is that big Dylan Napa doesn't think he has a problem.

The bad news for Melbourne Storm is that the flame-haired firebrand has no intention of changing his tackling technique when Napa returns from a three-match suspension in Sunday night's grand final.

"You make it sound like I have a drug problem," Napa said.

"Do I (go to) tackler's anonymous? Hitter's anonymous?

"It has only happened twice in my whole career.

Napa has been sin-binned twice this year for dangerous tackles. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.
Napa has been sin-binned twice this year for dangerous tackles. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

"And it just so happened that it happened the same year against the same team.

"I don't know how many tackles I have made in my career.

"But it has only gone wrong twice."

Some might argue twice is enough.

But while Napa doesn't think he has an issue with his tackling style, that is not to say the 25-year-old wasn't concerned for Andrew McCullough's health after that sickening head collision back in round 24 that left the Brisbane hooker unconscious on Suncorp Stadium.

"It was pretty tough to look at," Napa said.

"And knowing that I did it, it was a pretty shitty feeling to be honest."

It followed a similar tackle on Korbin Sims earlier in the season, that actually broke the Broncos prop's jaw.

McCullough was concussed following the heavy tackle. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.
McCullough was concussed following the heavy tackle. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts.

There were claims at the time that Napa may have intentionally set out to lead with his head.

But he was adamant: "I don't like seeing anyone like that.

"I was just worried about Andrew.

"To find out he was alright later that night and the next day I spoke to him.

"It was really relieving to know he was fine and that he wouldn't miss any finals games because of me."

In a twist of fate, Napa's return this week is likely to cost young Roosters forward Lindsay Collins his place in the squad to take on Melbourne.

Back in 2013 when the Roosters last won the comp, it was Napa himself who dropped out for the grand final to make way for Luke O'Donnell's return from suspension.

Napa said he has spent enough time thinking about the wrong this past month.

Now it is time to determine what can go right, and what he can do to make up for his absence.

It is a scary thought to imagine being the first player Napa lines up when he runs out on Sunday night.

The one thing Trent Robinson won't want to see is a lightening of his mood.

Napa admits it is the job of a rugby league enforcer to walk a fine line.

But there is no question he plays his best football when he is charged up to make it personal.

"It has been a rollercoaster of emotions," he said of the past month.

"After it all happened (the tackle on McCullough) I had a picture of me in my head of playing in the grand final.

"I just imagined me getting through it.

"And as tough as it was we are here now.

"I still played a part in (grand final week 2013) but this year is going to be a lot different.

"I have realised how hard it is in the last three or four years to get here.

"So I don't want to miss an opportunity this week."

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