NRL News | The Mole | Tigers target Sharks star Briton Nikora

Sharks Kiwi international Nikora of Britain is the latest player on the Wests Tigers hit list.

Nikora, one of the Premier’s top strikers, breached his contract at the end of this season and was unable to agree terms on a new deal with the Sharks.

The Tigers are keen to sign the 24-year-old New Zealander, who played four Tests for his country and also represented the Maori All-Stars.

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The Tigers are slowly but surely building a top eight under football director Tim Sheens and scouting manager Warren McDonnell and also have their eye on several other players for 2023.

Sea Eagles could take advantage of Tigers stalemate

One player the Tigers are in danger of losing is former Australia Schoolboys skipper Jock Madden.

Madden played a major, albeit brief, role in the upset win over the Roosters last weekend and is highly regarded by the Tigers.

But with the young playmaker’s path to the top tier blocked by more experienced players like Luke Brooks, Jackson Hastings and Tyrone Peachey, rival clubs are about to strike.

Don’t be surprised if Manly, with little game depth behind veterans Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran, talks to Madden’s management about next season.

Cleary still rants about pounding eels

They had a lot of players sidelined, but I hear Panthers coach Ivan Cleary still wasn’t happy with his team’s sweet 36-0 beating by rival Parramatta on their last hit before the beginning of their title defense.

One player who has reportedly caused a lot of concern is striker Vilami Kikau, who is traditionally a slow starter for a new season.

Kikau’s stats were alarming against the Eels – he missed nine tackles, more than any other Panther, and made just eight carries for 70 yards.

The big man could find himself doing a few ‘extras’ over the coming week and a half before the big kick-off.

Brown pulls off a masterstroke

Dylan Brown has had a quiet season by his standards in 2021 – but the talented Eels number six is ​​set for a return to form after his dynamic display in the big win over the Panthers.

Brown found himself playing many games last season on the Eels’ right side of offense and he struggled with the change.

But coach Brad Arthur brought the 21-year-old back to his preferred left side this season and Brown looked razor sharp as the Eels demolished the Panthers.

His combination on the left with lanky rower Shaun Lane and fullback Clint Gutherson will be an asset for the Eels while allowing halfback Mitchell Moses more space and freedom on the right.

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