Martin looking to nail down his spot

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER trent. slatter@ news. com. au

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.”

Picture: SHAE BEPLATE

HARD YARDS: Cow­boys mid- sea­son re­cruit Te Maire Martin at team train­ing ear­lier this week.

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