Broncos players slump to the turf following their loss to the Dragons. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Broncos players slump to the turf following their loss to the Dragons. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Isaako to bounce back after horror night

JAMAYNE Isaako will not be cowed by his two handling bloopers and his missed field goal shot as the Broncos head towards their pivotal Thursday night clash with Sydney Roosters, his Kiwi Test teammate Kodi Nikorima insists.

Isaako, the NRL rookie of the year in 2018, had an uncustomary battle with his handling in the 25-24 loss to the Dragons last week, with coach Anthony Seibold admitting all he had to do was catch a pass and "fall over the line'' to put the Broncos ahead when the teams were 18-all midway through the second half.

In one of the most searching nights of his career, Isaako also missed a field-goal shot for victory immediately prior to Corey Norman's match-winning one-pointer for the Dragons.

Asked if Isaako is a personality type who would dwell on a bad game, Nikorima said: "He's a young kid who is full of confidence. He'll let it go and learn from it.''

Queensland Origin coach Kevin Walters says he often marvelled at how modern-day rookies are not made gun shy by key mistakes in a game and immediately search for ways to have a positive impact.

Isaako also knocked on when bringing the ball out of defence early in a set in the 47th minute against the Dragons, a phase of the match in which they turned the ball over too much, contributing to a completion rate of only 70 per cent.

Teammate Kodi Nikorima expects Isaako to bounce back from the poor performance. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Teammate Kodi Nikorima expects Isaako to bounce back from the poor performance. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Broncos, who last year had a good record against the better teams, beat the 2018 premiers twice last year, accounting for the Roosters 28-22 in round 11 at Suncorp Stadium and 22-8 in round 24 at Allianz Stadium.

"The Roosters are always a tough side and if we play like we did (against St George Illawarra) they will put 20-plus points on us,'' Nikorima said.

"You can't give cheap ball and field position to teams like that. It was off my error when I kicked out on the full (in the 42nd minute). We had three errors after that.

"At least we stayed in the game. Last year, we might have found it hard.

"We will work hard at training and get our start right.''

The Sydney Cricket Ground, which is hosting several Roosters home games, can confuse kickers with their angles due to it being a round field, but Nikorima does not see a need to practice kicking on it before the game.

"It's still marked out as a field. It shouldn't affect us that much,'' he said.

News Corp Australia


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