Behind Enemy Lines: No.1 audition for position switch, veteran flyer calls time

Te Marie Martin moved to North Queensland to play five-eighth but finds himself wearing the No.1 this Friday.

According to Cowboys coach Paul Green, Martin could well find himself playing in that position next year.

Making the move last week, Martin thrived in the role and Green has backed the live-wire to do the job again this week when his troops face the nib Newcastle Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium.

"You can't really rule anything out at this stage," Green said of Martin playing fullback in 2019.


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"We've got to put our best team on the paddock to be competitive now.

"It's come to the point where we probably can have one eye on next year.

"We'll see how he goes. It might be an option for him. He's certainly got a good skill set for it. So we'll see how that pans out over the next few weeks."


There's no doubting the tools are there.

Too often we see halves and fullbacks interchanging at stages of their careers.

The attack knowledge transfers but the defensive decisions is something he will need to get his head around.

"There's no doubt he can run and pass, he's done that as a five-eighth," Green said.

"I think for him it's about learning that positional play defensively and getting our line organised on the try line, that's probably new to him but I think he didn't do a bad job."

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Martin finds himself in the custodians role due to the arrival of young half Jake Clifford.

While he finds himself with a different number on his back, Green stressed he wants Martin to remain involved just as much as he would be if he was still partnering Johnathan Thurston.

"He didn't have one kick. Just because he's moved from playing five-eighth to playing fullback he's still got the same skill set and I think the Dragons did a really good job at pressuring Johnno on last plays," Green said.

"That's where Te Maire in particular had to help him out so we're a bit less predictable on last plays so it makes it harder to put pressure on us."

Meanwhile, premiership-winning winger Antonio Winterstein has announced his retirement from rugby league, effective immediately.

Acting on medical advice, Winterstein finishes his career with 213 NRL games.


Cowboys Director of Football Peter Parr said Winterstein was an instrumental contributor to the club both on and off the field during his eight-year tenure as a Cowboy.

"In Antonio's first seven years at this club we played finals every year – that's not a coincidence," Parr said.

"He's one of the toughest players I've seen in my time at this club and how long he played with a chronic knee condition highlights that.

"The way he has dealt with this injury has helped build the culture and professionalism that is part of our club now."


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