Kodi Nikorima keeps the defence guessing. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Kodi Nikorima keeps the defence guessing. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Why 23 is Brisbane’s magic number

BRONCOS halfback Kodi Nikorima has revealed the power of the number "23", a code name that is driving Brisbane's spine into their finals campaign.

Nikorima and his halves partner Anthony Milford have been heavily scrutinised this season, their first full year together in the six and seven jerseys.

But the Kiwi international said they had managed to overcome much of the criticism aimed their way, thanks to their bond with fellow spine players Andrew McCullough and Darius Boyd.

Nikorima said assistant coach Jason Demetriou came up with the name "23" for the quartet, as it is the sum of all their jersey numbers.

While it may just be a label to some, Nikorima said the code name had helped them form a bond and cemented the idea they were all riding the rugby league rollercoaster together.

"I have Milford, Darbs and Macca," Nikorima said.

"We feed off each other. We're a spine.

"We're really good together and we even have our own name, which is 23. I don't feel that much pressure with them.

"The fact I can rely on them a lot and they can rely on me, going forward it will only benefit us.

"Last week (against the Raiders) I picked up an (eye) injury and Macca, Milford and Darbs, they really stood up."

Can the Broncos spine get the job done? AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Can the Broncos spine get the job done? AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

Nikorima had one of his best games of the year on Sunday, when the Broncos claimed their biggest win of the season so far against the Titans.

The 34-0 victory was one the club desperately needed as they push for a top-four finish, dropping their for-and-against to just -6.

Nikorima and Milford were able to play more freely behind their dominant young forward pack.

Nikorima in particular played to his strength in his running game, making 113m, four tackle busts and two line breaks.

With Brisbane in seventh spot on the ladder, Nikorima said he felt he was improving each week, despite some of the criticism that has been aimed at him and Milford.

He said he had blocked most of that out and only listened to what his coaches, especially Wayne Bennett, had to say.

"I've definitely improved a lot since Round 1, especially with my talk," he said.

"I've definitely found out (about the criticism) this year but I don't really buy into the outside. I listen to my coaching staff and Wayne.

"He gives me every confidence and he believes in me and I believe in myself."

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