TE MAIRE Martin has been lauded for bringing a new dimension to North Queensland’s play after a brilliant debut for the club against the Raiders on Saturday night.
Martin showed what he will bring to the team in the absence of Johnathan Thurston, scoring two tries as his side claimed a strong 31-18 victory in Canberra.
Martin’s tries both came off the back of work from Michael Morgan, but it showed the former Panther has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Coach Paul Green praised Martin afterwards for his involvement, saying the young playmaker has “a good nous for knowing where to be”.
Morgan said he also noticed this talent from his new halves partner and it gave him confidence that Martin could teach the Cowboys a few lessons in the coming weeks.
“After (Martin’s) second try, I noticed it was him there again, which was good,” Morgan said.
“That’s something we’ve kind of lacked a little bit, is that type of support play.
“I guess coming from Penrith and the way they play, that’s the way they like to do things, is work off offloads and push up with each other in support.
“He did that really well (on Saturday) and it’s something the group could feed off and learn off as well.
“The more he plays with the group and the more he trains with them, the more dangerous he will be.”
Martin’s new combination with Morgan is expected to be the way forward for the Cowboys, who have had to use six different halves combinations this year.
With Johnathan Thurston’s injury battles, the Cowboys have played John Asiata, Ray Thompson and Kyle Laybutt alongside Morgan, as well as the combination of Laybutt and Thompson during Origin.
Both Morgan and skipper Gavin Cooper are now confident however that Martin is the answer for the rest of the season.
Cooper said it’s something he addressed with the team before Saturday’s win and they know now what they have to work with heading into the back end of the year.
“I spoke about it before we played, this is the group for the rest of the year,” Cooper said.
“There’s no more debate about who’s coming in and who’s going out. We’re running low on troops at the Cowboys but everyone is really ripping in.
“We’ve bought into the areas that we thought we had to work on coming out of the first third of the season. This (Canberra win) is another step in the right direction.”