A mixed debut for ex-Kuki in State of Origin

Thursday June 01, 2017 Written by Published in Other Sports

Not the fairytale debut that he would have wished for, but former Kuki international Dylan Napa still had a fairly good start to his State of Origin career on early Wednesday (CI time) in Brisbane.

 

Napa, who featured for the Queensland Maroons in their big 4-28 loss to NSW Blues in the opening leg of the series, showed signs of what fans can expect from him in the next two legs.

According to the NRL.com which gave him the rating of 6/10, Napa, who had the honour of returning the kick-off, backed up his strong carry with another run later in the set.

Napa didn’t look out of place in his first stint but appeared to be hampered by an ankle injury, the website added.

In another article titled “Queensland v NSW: Five key points”, NRL.com said Napa had a “mixed debut”.

It said the strong prop made a barnstorming start to his Origin career, taking two hit-ups in the first set of the game to stamp his authority on the clash early.

“His first run earned him 12 metres, pushing Blues defenders back as he churned his legs. To follow that up, Napa put two big hits on Sydney Roosters teammate Blake Ferguson,” NRL.com reported.

“However that was about as good as Napa’s night got with the 24-year-old leaving the field soon after, hurting his ankle laying a tackle on (David) Klemmer and taken straight up the tunnel to the sheds.

“It was a sorry end to the first half for the fiery redhead, who returned in the second half with his ankle strapped up.

“He may have made it back onto the field but he was not the same player after suffering the injury, although credit must go to the Queenslander for fighting through the pain and running for 101 metres.”

The 24-year-old Dylan, whose father Stan Napa hails from the village of Arorangi, played three matches for the Cook Islands in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

The second leg of the State of Origin will be held on June 21 in Sydney.   

 

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