Te Maire Martin in action for the Cowboys
Te Maire Martin in action for the Cowboys MICHAEL CHAMBERS

Old heads are helping Cowboy Martin shine

COWBOYS five-eighth Te Maire Martin has credited the return of Gavin Cooper for helping kickstart his career in Townsville after he produced his best game for his new club against the Tigers.

But he is hell-bent on improving his defence as the Broncos prepare to send plenty of traffic his way in tonight's blockbuster in Townsville.

Cooper made his comeback after two weeks out with a calf injury in last week's 22-14 win at Campbelltown, and it coincided with Martin exploding to life on the Cowboys' left edge.

He scored a try with a dummy and nearly set up a second with another "show and go'', but also missed a one-on-one tackle on Tigers back rower Josh Aloiai.

His game-high seven tackle breaks was reward for his "run first'' mentality before he clashes with Broncos superstar Anthony Milford tonight.

"Just having 'Coops' there is good, he's always got shape," Martin said.

"The main thing about showing and going is to have shape and get on the outside shoulder of someone. In most of my line breaks, you'll see Coops on the inside or outside of me."

Martin's miss on Aloiai will have been noted by the Broncos who will look to direct Maroons back rower Matt Gillett Martin's way.

"The defence on our side has gone pretty well apart from myself with that try, he ran straight over me," Martin said.

"I didn't get my body in front, so that's all on me.

"That was a bit of a bummer but it's an easy fix. It wasn't a misread or anything, I just didn't get my body in front."

Martin has a niggling knee injury but has refused to yield as the understrength Cowboys fight for a spot in the finals.

A win tonight would guarantee a top eight spot but a loss would mean they need other results this weekend to go their way.

"You don't want to miss any games so if you have to play with a bit of pain, you play with a bit of pain," Martin said.

Halves partner Michael Morgan has dominated control of the side after Johnathan Thurston's season-ending injury, but said Martin is beginning to find his feet.

"He seems likes he's very quiet but out on the field you really hear him and notice him," Morgan said.

Cowboys coach Paul Green said Martin has won over his new teammates with his willingness to improve as quickly as possible.

News Corp Australia

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