MARTIN READY FOR ROUGH ROOSTERS
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.