Roosters not napping on Sharks
Dylan Napa hasn't faced too many problems in his 99-game career but taking down the Sharks certainly has been one.
Winning has come easily for the powerhouse prop since he made his NRL debut in 2013, but for Napa and his Roosters teammates, reeling in the Sharks has been as fruitful as Captain Ahab's quest for the white whale.
Despite their success over the years the Tricolours have lost six on the trot against the defending premiers, with their last win way back in 2014.
"I can't remember a time that we've beaten the Sharks so we're definitely well aware that they're up for these games," Napa said ahead of this weekend's clash at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
"I can't remember a time we've beaten them in the last couple of years so we're keen to get down there and put in a good performance and try to beat them on their home turf."
Like most crunch games, the key to victory lies in the middle of the field where Napa and front-row partner Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will duke it out with Cronulla's middle men Andrew Fifita and Paul Gallen.
Napa and his Queensland comrades found a way to blunt Fifita's impact in the last two games of this year's State of Origin series and the Maroons firebrand front-rower said it would take a collective effort to contain the Sharks star on Saturday night.
"Stopping a pack like the Sharks or any of the quality sides, it's definitely not a one-man job," he said.
"We're definitely going to have to be together there from myself to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves to Isaac Liu to whoever's in the middle to be trying to stop their forward pack and their momentum.
"I wouldn't put my hand up and say I'm going to do it myself and neither would any of the other forwards at the Roosters. It's definitely a team job and we'll be doing our best to do that."
Saturday's clash will have a huge bearing on the Telstra Premiership top four with the Roosters a chance to jump into second should they win while a loss would see them fall to fourth (they can stay in third with a one-point loss).
It shapes as a late-season classic but Roosters co-captain Jake Friend said revenge for their 44-12 loss to Cronulla on the Central Coast back in July wouldn't serve as a motivating factor.
"We got dished by them earlier in the season so that wasn't one of our best days that afternoon up at the Central Coast. For us it's about getting our footy going and there's no better way than to do that against Cronulla," he said.
"Getting beaten like that always hurts, but it's not something you hold on to. You want to play well against teams that have put a good score on you."
This article first appeared on NRL.COM