Kodi Nikorima has revealed that Stacey Jones' advice to "be greedy" helped inspire his sparkling attacking performance in Friday's 37-26 win over the Cowboys.
Nikorima came into his own to orchestrate his side's second win of the season at Central Coast Stadium, tallying two try assists, a line break, 95 metres from nine runs, four goals and a field goal.
Speaking to NRL.com after the match, Nikorima said that Warriors assistant coach Jones - one of New Zealand's greatest playmakers - had been encouraging him to take on the defence more often.
"I was just trying to pick my moments and I'm just thankful they came off tonight," Nikorima said.
Match Highlights: Warriors v Cowboys
"Stacey Jones was in my ear the whole week just saying, 'I just want you to be greedy this week and just run the ball'. So I guess that was in the back of my mind.
"Every time I play I try and run the ball, that's one of my strengths, and when I'm not, I feel I let the team down."
It was a stunning turnaround from the Warriors, who had managed just 24 points in their opening four games, but Nikorima said nothing drastic had changed in their preparation or tactics.
"We spoke earlier in the week when we did our review after last week's game - we didn't complete so we didn't build enough pressure [so] that was our main focus going into tonight's game," he said.
Nikorima nails a field goal just before half time
An 87 percent completion rate - 40 of 46 sets - would have been satisfying for coach Stephen Kearney.
"We always had confidence in our capability. I think we showed that the previous week [to the Penrith loss] against the Dragons," Kearney said.
"We looked at what we did well against the Dragons and what we didn't do so well against the Panthers and I thought we cleaned up a few of those areas."
Kearney complimented Nikorima and halfback Blake Green, who kicked with aplomb to set up three tries.
But he also heaped praise on former Panthers hooker Wayde Egan, who arrived at the Warriors in the summer.
"He's a great team man. The boys enjoy having him around obviously," Kearney said.
"Just the little subtleties that he can do on the footy field helps complement Roger [Tuivasa-Sheck], Greeny, Kodi, and certainly helps our middle forwards."
Kearney also lauded the way centre Peta Hiku "bounced back" to score the third hat-trick of his career after making an early error that led to a Cowboys try.
"That probably sums Peta up, to be honest. He doesn't let a great deal rattle him, to be fair," Kearney said.
"He's a class player. He just knows how to get the ball down and when to pass the footy at the right time. He's a real footballer."
Meanwhile, Nikorima said the Warriors have set a new benchmark for themselves with two wins in three weeks since the two-month playing layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We've always had high standards and obviously when we don't live up to them it's always disappointing," Nikorima said.
"This is where we want to be and consistency's the key."
Hiku secures a hat-trick