The Red and Black Report shines a spotlight on Canterbury Rugby League products featuring in Australia’s elite and lower-grade competitions.


Originally the Dolphins’ fourth-string half, utility and ex-Burnham Chevaliers junior Kodi Nikorima has been outstanding at five-eighth for the overachieving NRL newcomers.

Nikorima’s season peaked with a man-of-the-match performance in the Dolphins’ stunning 36-16 Magic Round upset of heavyweights Cronulla Sharks. The veteran racked up two try assists, three line-break assists and 83 running metres in the boilover.

Aranui Eagles product Jamayne Isaako ran for 131 metres and kicked six goals from as many attempts in the drubbing of the Sharks, becoming the first player in 2023 to break the 100-point barrier in the NRL.

Hornby Panthers junior Jordan Riki has started all 11 matches for the high-flying Brisbane Broncos in the second-row, playing 70-plus minutes in each.

The tyro tallied a season-high 95 running metres in the Broncos’ 32-6 Magic Round thrashing of Manly, while he produced his hardest-working defensive display of 2023 – 42 tackles – in Thursday’s tough 24-16 loss in Melbourne.


Making his return from a six-week injury absence, Hornby junior Fa’amanu Brown started at lock in Canterbury Bulldogs’ NSW Cup clash with Canberra Raiders in Round 10. The utility made 15 runs for 124 metres and 20 tackles in the 14-all draw.

Last weekend, Brown played 19 minutes off the bench as the Bulldogs recorded another 14-all draw against the Warriors.

Warriors SG Ball captain Halswell front-rower Tanner Stowers-Smith was NSW Cup 18th man in Round 10 after making an impressive debut a week earlier, but he returned to the interchange on Saturday.

The teenager, who is the great-grandson of former Kiwis captain and Canterbury Rugby League icon Pat Smith, was busy in limited game-time – chalking up four runs for 42 metres in 14 minutes off the pine.

Versatile Aranui product Daejarn Asi continues to impressive for Parramatta’s NSW Cup side. He scored a try and produced two try assists from fullback in the Eels’ Round 10 victory over Western Suburbs Magpies.

The former Cowboys and Warriors first-grader had fewer chances to impress in a heavy Round 11 defeat in Canberra but chewed through 95 running metres from 14 carries.

Sydney Roosters five-eighth and Halswell junior Joseph Taipari recorded a try-assist, 47 metres and 16 tackles in their 28-26 Round 10 loss to South Sydney. He was an unused interchange in Friday’s loss to Penrith.


Coming off the bye, Sheldon Pitama‘s Redcliffe Dolphins defeated Central Queensland Capras in Rockhampton on Saturday to consolidate their spot in the Queensland Cup’s top half.

A product of Northern Bulldogs, industrious hooker Pitama made 22 tackles (no misses) and nine runs for 59 metres in the seventh-placed Dolphins’ convincing victory.


Halswell Hornets junior Montel Lisala returned to Canterbury Bulldogs’ under-21s line-up on the weekend, featuring on the wing in a 34-20 loss to Melbourne Storm.



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