Nikorima: ‘You can’t rest on what you’ve done’

Published 4:08pm 29 November 2023

Nikorima: ‘You can’t rest on what you’ve done’
Words by Kylie Knight

Photos: Courtesy of Dolphins NRL Media

The Dolphins NRL side’s Mr Fix-it, Kodi Nikorima, is keen to stay with the club long-term but while his manager and the club discuss a contract extension, he’s focused on working hard in preseason training, claiming the No.6 jersey and playing well from round one.

Nikorima returned to training two weeks ago to get a jump on his fitness but, at this stage, is not sure where he will be playing in the 2024 season.

“I don’t think Wayne has any idea to be honest. Hopefully I’ll build on what I did last year which was five-eighth,” he said at training this week.

“We’ve got a bit of depth with Milf, Izzy started the year off there last year, Seany’s still thereabouts. There’s a lot of competition which can only be good for our team, but five-eighth is the goal for me.”

Nikorima recognises he is a handy utility player but believes he plays his best football in that position.

He scoffs at the suggestion he’s earnt the spot after filling so many gaps last season.

“You can’t rest on what you’ve done. Every year is a new year, players get better and some players go backwards,” Nikorima said.

“I’ve still got areas of my game where I want to improve. I know if I do improve in those areas, I’ll be a much player or even … a complete player.

“It’s a new season, we’ve obviously got new players coming in now so that will change up the dynamic of our team but for me personally it’s about coming in here for preseason, putting my best foot forward every day and continuing to get better.”

Nikorima: ‘You can’t rest on what you’ve done’

Keen to remain a Dolphin

That attitude will hopefully help his cause in contract extension negotiations, with the playmaker keen to remain at the Dolphins.

“Every year I just try to do my best and leave the contract stuff up to my manager. Hopefully, I can be here long-term. It’s a pretty good club,” he said.

“I grew up in Bracken Ridge, which is not too far from here. Ideally, I would love to stay but obviously I’ve got a family I’ve got to look out for.

“I like what this club’s about. I like how they’re shaping up especially for the future and we’ve got some good people around.”

In the meantime, he’s keen to do his bit to ensure the Dolphins are in the finals’ mix at the pointy end of the season.

He believes three potent new players will definitely help, as well as the experience gained by the squad’s youngest members.

“They’re high-quality players that we’re bringing in next year. One of them is an international player. Jake’s still a young player but he’s definitely got a bright future. I’ve watched him play the last few years and he’s got speed to burn,” Nikorima said.

“Sometimes with those players you’ve just got to give them the ball and they can do the rest.

“(Flegler) was big time last year, especially through the finals and having Payne … together that one-two punch. This year, it’s looking like it will be him and Jesse up front, that can only be good for our team.

“The thing I like about that is he brings a lot of aggression … we’ve also got two maniacs in our team in Tom Gilbert and Ray Stone, so if I’m a halfback opposing them, I wouldn’t want to be taking it too deep in the line.”

Nikorima joked that he was worried about the team’s suspension record but said he was sure Bennett would be in their ears to tone it down.


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