Player profile: Warriors halfback Kodi Nikorima

Player profile: Warriors halfback Kodi Nikorima

Vodafone Warriors halfback Kodi Nikorima shares his thoughts about this weekend’s game against the Broncos with Moreton Daily while also revealing his childhood connection with the Redcliffe Jetty and Settlement Cove Lagoon.

Nikorima, 27, joined the Vodafone Warriors midway through the 2019 season after 86 appearances for the Broncos where he debuted in 2015.

The Aspley Devils junior moved to Bracken Ridge from New Zealand when he was 11 years old, where he lived for more than seven years as a child and teenager. He knows the northside of Brisbane well, also living at Bridgeman Downs and Carseldine previously.

His performance for the Warriors against Wests Tigers last weekend was among the side’s best and while he says it was good to get their first win for the season, there’s plenty to work on.

“There’s a lot of improvement still left amongst our group. If you go back the game previously against the Titans, we probably played better football but didn’t get a result. We obviously played pretty poorly, I thought, against the Tigers but we got a result. Sometimes you’ve just got to take it and that’s part of the journey and the ride,” Nikorima explains.

So how has the side been approaching this Saturday’s game against the Brisbane Broncos at Moreton Daily Stadium (2pm kick-off)?

“It’s been just about us again. Obviously, they’re coming off a pretty poor performance too and they’ll be looking to get vengeance for sure. For us, it’s more so building on what we’ve done in the preseason and through the first couple of weeks. I think we definitely need to get better with our errors and giving away penalties and just letting teams off the hook so easily. If we can sort that out, it will put us in good stead towards the back end of the game.”

Does he agree with Warriors’ prop Bunty Afoa that the game will be won up the middle?

“When the forwards go forward, or they do their job or they’re winning their ruck it generally creates opportunities for us backs. He’s right in what he’s saying – it will be won in the middle – but we still have some strike power on the edges too that I feel we need to get the ball to.

“That will definitely help us as a team. I think you’ll see, more so this week, the halves really being more dominant in our football. I think the last couple of weeks we’ve relied on our forwards a bit too much and it’s putting a little bit more pressure on them. To help change that is us halves being more dominant and being more vocal out there on the field.”

How are you planning to neutralise Reynolds?

“He’s key to their kicking game. He’s one of the best kickers in the comp. Obviously kick-pressure is going to be really important for us this week. Even then, regardless, if you do put kick-pressure on him he seems to get a good kick away too. I guess around that, the escorting, making sure the boys are getting up and obviously wanting to tire him out … so he doesn’t have that energy to attack with the ball.”

Who was your favourite player growing up?

“Benji Marshall. He’s a Kiwi and I used to love his side steps. I used to practise them myself in the back yard.”

Best place to go for a run in the Moreton Bay Region?

“I like it along the jetty. I grew up around here, at Bracken Ridge, so I’d always go to the lagoon on weekends and I used to always run from the lagoon to the jetty just so I could jump off there, as kids do. Not too sure what they do there now. I’d recommend the walkway along there.”

Where is your favourite restaurant or café in the Moreton Bay Region?

“Mamas Italian Restaurant at Redcliffe.”

What are your goals this season?

“It changes every year as I get older. I think just to play more consistent football individually. It starts at training, working hard at training and then applying all the hard work that you do at training into the game on the weekend. I guess you only get one chance and it’s that 80 minutes … put your best foot forward.”

Read more player profiles: Bayley Sironen, Aaron Pene, Bunty Afoa

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