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Boyd, Milford must step up: Thaiday

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/04/2017 Laine Clark

Sam Thaiday has backed bench utility Kodi Nikorima to step up in injured Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt's lengthy absence, starting with Friday night's NRL derby against Gold Coast.

But the veteran forward admits captain Darius Boyd and playmaker Anthony Milford will need to step up in attack to fill the void left by the inspirational Hunt.

Hunt is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks with a hamstring complaint suffered in the Broncos' 32-8 win over Sydney Roosters.

Thaiday was still in awe of Hunt's second half tackle against the Roosters while clutching his injured hamstring.

Hunt looked gone for all money when he fell to the ground holding his leg in the 49th minute but somehow got up to pull off a sideline tackle and snuff out a Latrell Mitchell attacking raid and a Roosters comeback.

Thaiday believed Hunt would have worsened the injury with his inspirational play but had no complaints.

"While still hurt, down and injured he continued to push hard and made a sideline tackle which was pretty heroic - we are going to miss him," Thaiday said of Hunt.

"He probably did make it worse by making that tackle but it just shows the kind of player he is.

"We we were ahead at the time and any player who didn't have the desire for their team wouldn't have made that tackle.

"That's why he is such an integral part of our team."

Nikorima impressed when he took over from Hunt in the second half of Brisbane's last-round win but Thaiday believed the onus would not be on the pint sized utility to step up in Hunt's absence.

"He came out for the end of that half and I think he did a fantastic job and with another week of training under his belt will only help him," Thaiday said.

"This week it might take him a little bit to get going but that means (fullback) Darius or Anthony Milford will need to take a bit more responsibility in attack."

Brisbane will monitor the fitness of prop Korbin Sims (ankle) and winger Corey Oates (groin) ahead of Friday's clash with Gold Coast.

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