Martin calls on pack to deliver goforward
WELLINGTON: Going forward without forward goforward is hardly easy going, Kiwis playmaker Te Maire Martin reckons.
So the Cowboysbased ace hopes his side’s big boys can do a job through the middle in Saturday’s World Cup quarterfinal against Fiji.
New Zealand’s pack laboured against its powerhouse Tongan counterpart in last week’s 2822 loss, making fewer running metres and offloads.
That reverse set it on a collision course with the similarly burly Bati, which topped pool D undefeated, and possibly Aus tralia in the semifinal.
Martin admitted his side’s forwards would need to be better against
Fiji, as they attempt to resuscitate their World
Should they succeed in getting the better of the Fijians through the middle, they would likely have more luck quelling the threat of Jarryd Hayne.
‘‘You can’t just focus on him [Hayne], you’ve got to focus on all the other forwards and that stuff too, with [their] momentum,’’ Martin said.
‘‘Coming from the halves myself, trying to go forward when your forwards aren’t going forward isn’t easy.
‘‘You’ve got that Xfactor there and we’ll have to try and work on him — if he gets one on one, he’s going to beat them most of the time.’’
Having starred in the Kiwis’ 746 mauling of Scotland two weeks ago, the 22yearold Mar tin sat out his side’s upset at the hands of Tonga.
But he will return to the starting lineup for Saturday’s test, with Kodi Nikorima moving to the bench and Thomas Leuluai to the stands.
He is looking forward to resuming his halves partnership with Shaun Johnson.
‘‘Everything flows pretty nicely at training — we’ll see when it comes to Saturday but I thought we connected pretty well last game against Scotland, off the back of the way our forwards played,’’ the Tokoroaborn Martin said. — NZN
Te Maire Martin