Warrior Kodi Nikorima cool calm and collected ahead of clash with former club, Brisbane Broncos
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/112883891/-

2019-05-21 06:21:16

There isn't much that rattles Warriors halfback Kodi Nikorima.

His first game as a Warrior was at his old home ground of Suncorp Stadium, and his first home game will this Saturday be against the very club he called home since he was 12 years-old.

As such, nobody would judge the Kiwi international for feeling a few butterflies - but that's simply not his style.

"I don't really get nervous before games and this one is no different," he said.

"I think come game day it might be a bit different? Maybe, but this week for me it's just about going out there and doing my job for my team."

Doing his job is something Nikorima has carried out to brilliant effect since he landed in Auckland three weeks ago. He is undefeated as a Warrior and has brought balance to the side in the key position of halfback.

Now the Warriors take on Brisbane with the advantage of having a player in the halves who has an intimate understanding of how the opposition like to play.

"I haven't said too much yet but I'm sure come tomorrow (defence day) I'll have a chat with the coaching staff and let them know what kind of plays they run," he said.

"I know all their calls too, which is an added bonus for us, I think they'll probably try and stay away from me this week. But look, I'll try and give all the insight I can, but when you're out there things change on the run, they are a good side and will be a big challenge for us this week."

Both sides head into the contest with back-to-back wins under their belts and sit 10th (Warriors) and 11th (Brisbane Broncos) on the ladder.

Nikorima said while he has been happy with the results of late, there was plenty of work to do before the Warriors could be considered to be at peak.

"I love winning, I play to win and despite the fact that we are probably not exactly where we would like to be as a group, we have been getting the results which is pleasing," he said.

"If we keep continuing what we have been doing it will go along way to more results like we have been getting. Since I have been here the energy has been great. We can certainly be better but I'm enjoying my footy at the moment."

One area the 25-year-old identified as a work-on for the side was his partnership wth veteran five-eighth, Blake Green.

The pair only have the two games together, but the early signs are promising, Nikorima said.

"Blake and I as a combination have a lot of growth and potential I think, but it's early days.

"We have a long way to go but, sky's the limit for us if we do get it clicking.

"We roomed together the last two weeks, he gets up very early but otherwise a good room mate - he doesn't snore, so I told the staff I'll keep him on and hopefully we can keep developing that chemistry."

Asked if there had been any back and forth with former team-mates at the Broncos, he said he had been in a light-hearted war of words with Broncos enforcer, close friend, Joe Ofahengaue.

"A little bit of back and forth, nothing too major. I had a few words with big Joe, told him to stay away from me or he'll be getting a few neck slaps."

Meanwhile, Adam Blair has been recalled for Saturday's game following the suspension of Agnatius Paasi.

​With Paasi serving a one-match ban for a dangerous throw against Penrith, Bunty Afoa has been named in the starting side with Blair taking his place on the bench.

After missing the win over the Dragons two weeks ago through suspension, former Kiwis skipper Blair was dropped to reserve grade last week.

Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), David Fusitu'a, Peta Hiku, Patrick Herbert, Ken Maumalo, Kodi Nikorima, Blake Green, Bunty Afoa, Issac Luke, Leeson Ah Mau, Isaiah Papali'i, Tohu Harris, Lachlan Burr. Interchange: Jazz Tevaga, Adam Blair, Ligi Sao, Karl Lawton, Gerard Beale, Leivaha Pulu, Chris Satae, Chanel Harris-tavita

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