Martin takes tips from the best
He came to Townsville with the appeal of being the understudy of the game's best halfback, but Te Maire Martin has been thrust into the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys side due to Johnathan Thurston's season-ending injury.
The young half has filled the role admirably, scoring two tries on debut and looking more at home in the Cowboys' side every week, as he gets more training with the likes of Michael Morgan, Lachlan Coote and Jake Granville.
Martin's tutelage from Thurston hasn't been delayed by the latter's injury, the legendary Queensland half has been in his understudy's ear at training and half-time. Thurston's tutelage was one of the key factors that drew Martin to the Cowboys, and it seems to be paying off already.
"[Thurston] got injured and I sort of got my time before I thought I would, but he is still around me, he's helped me out he had a little chat to me at half-time and after the game. I think he'll be sick of me asking him questions," Martin said.
"You've got 'Greeny' (coach Paul Green) there too, he was a very good halfback and they've both got a good mind for the game.
"If I can take as much as I can on board I'm going to improve."
Thurston's advice seemed to pay dividends in the second half against the Warriors, as Martin inserted himself into the game, taking several runs at the defensive line and forcing a goal-line dropout.
The newest Cowboys also got a wrap from fullback Coote, who's happy to have additional playmakers in the side to relieve the pressure on any individual.
It's becoming an important aspect of the Cowboys' game, with Granville developing a close-range kicking game to go along with his ability to scoot from dummy-half and get the Cowboys forwards on the front foot.
"When you've got those options on the field it keeps the defence guessing and there's no doubt with 'Te' slotting in there he's doing a good job for us," Coote said.
"When he carries the ball he's a great ball runner, he looks light on his feet.
"He's a kid that's wanting to learn and get better so that's the best thing about it."
First published on NRL.com.