MARTIN READY FOR ROUGH ROOST­ERS

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

COW­BOYS half Te Maire Martin must have breathed a sigh of re­lief when Boyd Cord­ner’s name was miss­ing from the Roost­ers team sheet this week.

In round three when still at Penrith, Martin was tar­geted re­lent­lessly by the New South Wales skip­per who made him churn through 31 tack­les in a 14- 12 Roost­ers win.

The Roost­ers co- cap­tain hasn’t played for his club since round 13 be­cause of a dodgy ham­string and Ori­gin com­mit­ments, and Martin is happy he’ll be watch­ing from the stands in a suit at Al­lianz Sta­dium on Satur­day night.

Martin missed five tack­les against the Roost­ers in round three, and is ex­pected to be tested again by one of the big­ger sides in the NRL.

“I learned that Cord­ner was pretty hard to tackle,” Martin said when asked his mem­o­ries of the game.

“He was the back rower on my side and I had a bit of work to do there. I think I made 30- some­thing tack­les.

“They def­i­nitely like to get at the halves, it’s a good chal­lenge and I look for­ward to it.

“I got a taste for it against the War­riors ( last week), they have a few big bod­ies and the body is still a bit sore.

“They ( Roost­ers) have got a very phys­i­cal pack with ( Dy­lan) Napa and ( Jared) Waerea- Har­g­reaves, and big out­side backs.”

Asked if he ex­pects the Roost­ers to tar­get him again as a Cow­boys new­comer, Martin said: “I would.

“It makes me work k a bit harder dur­ing the week, get your mind ready for it and be phys­i­cally pre­pared.”

Martin’s five- eighth bat­tle with Luke Keary ( pic­tured) has sim­i­lar par­al­lels.

Keary has thrived at the Roost­ers this year af­ter his messy di­vorce with Souths along­side Blues half­back Mitchell Pearce, while Martin is set­tling in af­ter three games at the Cow­boys as the halves part­ner of Ma­roons star Michael Mor­gan.

“Keary has played well since the start and he’s def­i­nitely a key player for them,” Martin said.

“We’re keep­ing an eye on him and Pearce, we’ve got our work cut out for us on Satur­day.”

The Cow­boys will be boosted by the re­turn of winger An­to­nio Win­ter­stein, who trained strongly af­ter miss­ing the 24- 12 home win over the War­riors with a calf in­jury.

He will be thrust straight into the hot seat against the Roost­ers rep­re­sen­ta­tive winger Blake Fer­gu­son.

“Why you play the game is to play against the best and he’s def­i­nitely one of the best, an in­ter­na­tional and Ori­gin player,” Win­ter­stein said.

“I wouldn’t take the field if I knew I wasn’t go­ing to last the game. I’m 100 per cent and ready to go.”

TASTE FOR IT: Te Maire Martin of the Cow­boys makes a run against the New Zealand War­riors at 1300SMILES Sta­dium in Townsville.

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