Martin soldiers on
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.