Martin sol­diers on

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JON TUXWORTH jonathon. tuxworth@ news. com. au

RAB­BITOHS COW­BOYS

HIS team­mates grabbed a rare chance to put their feet up but Te Maire Martin has shown his de­ter­mi­na­tion to make the most of his Cow­boys op­por­tu­nity by us­ing the bye to ac­cel­er­ate his tran­si­tion.

While the North Queens­land squad took the week off, the for­mer Pan­ther did ex­tras last week as he looks to build on a promis­ing two- try de­but in the 31- 18 win at Can­berra two weeks ago.

His sup­port work was a fea­ture of his game and with Johnathan Thurston ruled out for the year, he has a chance to es­tab­lish him­self as Michael Mor­gan’s halves part­ner against Souths in Cairns on Sun­day.

“He still came in and did a bit ex­tra, he hasn’t played as much footy as the other guys,” coach Paul Green said.

“It wasn’t struc­ture planned stuff with the coaches, but he came in and did some ex­tra stuff.

“It’s a good sign of where he can hon­estly as­sess where he’s at him­self.

“He doesn’t need us to tell him he prob­a­bly hasn’t earned the rest some of the other guys have, so it’s a good sign for him.”

Like his club de­but, the 21year- old won’t get much chance to de­velop his part­ner­ship with Mor­gan given he is play­ing in tonight’s State of Ori­gin de­cider.

“We haven’t been able to build on those com­bi­na­tions but it was a good start for him and that’s cer­tainly a fo­cus for us over the next pe­riod. Get him into the team and get him used to how we play,” Green said.

The Cow­boys have won four of their past five games, their sole de­feat a golden- point loss in Mel­bourne in Round 15.

Green is con­fi­dent the club’s Queens­land rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Mor­gan, Coen Hess and Gavin Cooper will all back up against the Rab­bitohs, who must win to keep their slim fi­nals hopes alive.

“You’re al­ways ner­vous when your best play­ers are in­volved and it’s a pretty tough brand of footy, too,” Green said.

“We’ll see how the game pans out and how they pull up be­fore we make a call on that, but they’ll prob­a­bly play.”

Green was hope­ful the Ma­roons could win and his stars re­turn full of con­fi­dence.

Thurston may not be play­ing in tonight’s Ori­gin block­buster, but Green said it would still be huge mo­ti­va­tion for Queens­land to en­sure his swan song is mem­o­rable.

“They’ve built up a ter­rific cul­ture in that side and no one is big­ger than the team, but if you look at the con­tri­bu­tion Johnno’s made to that team the last 12 years, it doesn’t need to be said,” Green said.

“I’m sure they’d all like to put their best foot for­ward and even though he’s not play­ing, they’d like to win the se­ries for him.”

Cow­boys team to play Souths on Sun­day: 1 Lach­lan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Lin­nett, 5 An­to­nio Win­ter­stein, 6 Te Maire Martin, 7 Michael Mor­gan, 8 John Asi­ata, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Ja­son Tau­malolo, 14 Ben Hamp­ton, 15 Coen Hess, 16 Shaun Fen­som, 17 Corey Jensen.

KEEN: Mid- sea­son North Queens­land Cow­boys re­cruit Te Maire Martin. Pic­ture: SHAE BEPLATE

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