Syndesmosis is a dirty word in the Canterbury camp with confirmation that enforcer Dylan Napa will miss 5-6 weeks on top of Kieran Foran’s absence for three months.
Napa injured his ankle in Sunday’s loss to the Storm and scans revealed the 26-year-old had suffered a grade two syndesmosis.
Napa hurt his ankle in the opening exchanges at AAMI Park but tried to battle on manfully until he finally realised he was “becoming a liability to his side” after 15 minutes.
The Queenslander left the ground in a moon boot but not before offering a self-diagnosis which ultimately proved very close to the mark.
“I don’t think it is as near as bad as Kieran’s,” Napa said after the match.
“He is out for three months, so hopefully fingers crossed I am back within a few weeks. I was thinking how Kieran played the whole game, so I sort of felt like a bit of a cat when I went off.
“By the end of it I was becoming a bit of a liability in defence and I could hear the Storm say ‘get at Napa’, so I wasn’t really comfortable letting the team down.”
With Napa sitting on the sidelines for much of the contest, the Bulldogs put in a brave performance against the Storm and could have forced extra-time if Rhyse Martin was successful with a conversion late in the match.
But the kick was well wide and Bulldogs coach Dean Pay was left to rue the loss of Napa and the lack of rotations available through his interchange bench.
“Losing Dylan was a telling blow for us,” Pay said.
“He is an Origin player and you take an Origin player out of a game … that’s a big loss.
“I was so proud of the boys that picked up the slack for the rest of the game.”
Pay has now thrown a challenge to his players and wants them to produce that type of performance on a consistent basis.
“We played better than what we did last week,” he said.
“I was really proud of the boys the way they hung in and played until the death.
“We are starting to build and we want to make sure we turn up and do that next week.”