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Warriors star Blake Green praises new recruit Kodi Nikorima's impact

Warriors veteran Blake Green has no doubt Brisbane will single out Kodi Nikorima for special attention in a fascinating sub-plot to Saturday's NRL clash in Auckland.

In the same breath, Green warns the visitors to be wary of the new attacking dimension, and results, the former Broncos halfback has brought to the Kiwi club this month.

They've gone from four straight losses to consecutive wins, with Nikorima's incisive wider running game providing a key point of difference.

The 25-year-old New Zealand international made eight tackle busts in last week's 30-10 dissection of Penrith, more than he managed in any of his 86 appearances for Brisbane across five seasons.

Green is convinced Nikorima is revelling in a "freestyler" role, unshackled from the extra responsibilities bestowed on him at the Broncos.

"That's probably one of the reasons he decided to come to our footy club, because he didn't have to worry about steering people around and wondering about what tackle it is, what the clock is," said Green, who owns those responsibilities at the Warriors.

"He can just get out there and play footy and we'll get him the ball in the right part of the field at the right time and he can do his thing."

Nikorima's speed is comparable to that of fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, leaving Green with what he says is the obvious task to put either of them in space or one-on-one with a tired defender.

However, he expected the Broncos to be cognisant of the threat posed by their former halfback and to target his defence ruthlessly.
"I've got a fair idea of what's going to come at him, I think he'll get a fair bit of attention," Green said.

"But he's really experienced. He's played Test matches, he's played in some big games for the Broncs. He'll know how to handle the occasion."

Nikorima was looking forward to his first game at Mt Smart Stadium and insisted he was less nervous about facing his former club than he was ahead of his Warriors debut, when he played in the Magic Round at his former Suncorp Stadium home venue.

The Warriors and Brisbane boast the same 4-6 record and are coming off successive wins.

The Broncos have arguably been more impressive in dispatching Manly and the Sydney Roosters, with a number of their State of Origin candidates finding a vein of form.

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Broncos are chasing back-to-back wins at Mt Smart Stadium for the first time since 2000.

* All four of the Warriors wins this season have come when surpassing 25 points. Otherwise they've lost.

* Brisbane's average team running metres (1464m) and post-contact metres (488m) are both second-best in the league behind the Roosters.

Blake Green talks to Kodi Nikorima.
Vodafone Warriors training session. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. NRL Rugby League. Wednesday 8 April 2019 © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
Blake Green talks to Kodi Nikorima during a Warriors training session. Source: Photosport


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