Martin looking to nail down his spot
N O R T H Q u e e n s l a n d ’ s mid- season recruit Te Maire Martin is adamant he won’t just be a flash in the pan as the Cowboys look to prove there is life without Johnathan Thurston.
Martin has been thrust into the halves following Thurston’s season- ending shoulder injury, but the former Panther is quickly making the position his own.
The 21- year- old made an eye- catching club debut in Canberra before last weekend’s bye, scoring a double as the Cowboys overcame the Raiders 31- 18 in freezing conditions.
Martin was quick to describe his tries as good fortune more than anything else, but the young half says he’s determined to build on that performance against Souths in Cairns on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m slowly getting used to everything. They’re a good bunch of blokes here, pretty easy to get along with, and they’re really helpful,” Martin said.
“Most of the time I was a bit lost ( against Canberra) so I was trying to push up with the ball and find the ball whenever I could.
“If I have the energy to push up again, I’ll try and do some more, but you can’t just have one good game and go back down. I’ll try my best to have a good game.”
Martin could have put his feet up while the Cowboys enjoyed a few days off last week, but instead spent his time on the training paddock doing extras, much to the delight of coach Paul Green.
The Cowboys play a much more structured style than his former club Penrith and Martin felt he still had a lot to learn after only a few weeks in Townsville.
“I’m really enjoying the structured stuff. Everyone knows what they’re doing so it makes the halves job a bit easier … it’s just remembering everything is the hard bit,” Martin said.
“All the boys talk a lot and they let me know. When ‘ Coops’ ( Gavin Cooper) comes back, he’s superb on my edge. He’s the backrower on my side and he talks so much, you can’t get lost.
“I’m still pretty shy at the moment, but the boys are pretty easy to get along with so it won’t take too long and they’ll be telling me to shut up.”
Martin will likely have to shoulder more responsibility against Souths with halves partner Michael Morgan coming off his first 80- minute performance for Queensland.
The new halves pairing have had few chances to train together during the Origin period, but Martin was confident Morgan’s class would shine through when he returned to the Cowboys line- up.
“I think I’ve only trained with him once or twice. He’s doing very well and as you saw against Canberra he played a magnificent game. He’s a quality player,” Martin said.
“If I have to ( take on a bigger role) then I will, but I think Morgo will come back well just like he did last time.”
HARD YARDS: Cowboys mid- season recruit Te Maire Martin at team training earlier this week.