Anthony Seibold has challenged Broncos halfback Kodi Nikorima to be more vocal and dominant as a playmaker heading into a round one showdown with the Storm.
The Kiwi halfback started slowly in the 25-22 trial win over the Titans on Saturday night but later showed he was heeding his coach’s advice with a dominant back half of the game.
"I thought Kodi was fairly quiet in the first half and our trainers down at ground level said that he was a bit quiet," Seibold said after the win.
"My challenge to Kodi is to be a bit more assertive and have early talk, particularly in attack.
"As a halfback, early talk is a key and he has been working really hard on it at training. He has got a lot of gifts, Kodi, but it will be a work in progress."
One of those gifts is playing what is in front of him and having the vision and skill to set players free when a game opens up.
Match Highlights: Titans v Broncos
As the Broncos gained some momentum against the Titans, Nikorima came into his own. Two short balls to Alex Glenn resulted in tries.
"Kodi got a lot of confidence going away with the New Zealand Test side where in the third Test he was probably the best player on the field," Seibold said.
"He has had a really good pre-season and become a dad as well, so he's got some responsibilities away from footy. He has set himself up for a decent year.”
With Anthony Milford rested from the trial while recovering from a hamstring injury, the next two weeks of preparation will be critical for the halves duo as they prepare to play their first game together this year.
He has got a lot of gifts, Kodi, but it will be a work in progressBrisbane coach Anthony Seibold
"Kodi and Milf need to do some reps in the next couple of weeks as we chase marginal gains," Seibold said.
“It is not ideal, but they played together last year. It is not as though Kodi and Milf have come from different clubs and haven’t played any games together.
“It is what it is. We’ve just got to crack on with it. Of course, it is going to be a huge challenge. I don't think Bellyache [Craig Bellamy] has lost a game in round one since he started coaching in 2003."
Seibold said he was pleased with the performance of five-eighth Sean O’Sullivan and the development of 17-year-old half Tom Dearden who played the last 12 minutes against the Titans after starting in the club’s previous two trials.
Seibold said the Broncos completed at "around 74 per cent" and was pleased with the four tries and the side's attack while being disappointed with the early defensive effort that allowed the Titans to get an 18-0 lead.
"We are chasing a peakless mountain I suppose. We just want to get as good as we can get," Seibold said.