Boyd backs Niko­rima to put bite on Sharks

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PETER BADEL

BRON­COS skip­per Dar­ius Boyd has de­clared Kodi Niko­rima the half­back with the game- break­ing bril­liance to snap the long­est pre­mier­ship drought in Bris­bane’s 29- year his­tory.

On the eve of tonight’s Bron­cos- Sharks block­buster at Sun­corp Sta­dium, Niko­rima re­vealed he was so de­ter­mined to clinch the Bris­bane No. 7 jumper he knocked back the op­por­tu­nity to play with Cooper Cronk at Mel­bourne.

The de­ci­sion has paid div­i­dends, with Niko­rima keen to main­tain his flaw­less record by dis­man­tling the Sharks and clinch­ing his eighth vic­tory as Bris­bane’s start­ing half­back.

It’s 11 years since the play­mak­ing com­bi­na­tion of Dar­ren Lock­yer and un­her­alded Shane Perry steered the Bron­cos to their last pre­mier­ship.

Like Perry, Niko­rima has his de­trac­tors, but Boyd, one of just two sur­vivors of Bris­bane’s most re­cent ti­tle vic­tory, says the 23- year- old has the tal­ent to de­liver the club’s sev­enth pre­mier­ship.

“Kodi has the abil­ity and he’s only go­ing to get bet­ter,” he said.

“Dur­ing his first five weeks ( fill­ing in for the in­jured Ben Hunt at half­back), Kodi won ev­ery game.

“Half­back is a po­si­tion that takes years to mas­ter. You look at a guy like Cooper Cronk ( Queens­land and Test No. 7), he took a while to mas­ter play­ing in the halves but now he is re­garded as one of the best ever.

“I can see Kodi de­vel­op­ing in the same way.”

Bron­cos half Kodi Niko­rima.

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