Not even a brain bleed can stop this guy…
Moving across the ditch and into the halves, can Te Maire Martin continue his miraculous return to the NRL with a return to fantasy relevance after a misfire in 2022?
Martin finds himself not only at a new club in 2023, but slated to play a new position. Not new to him as a whole, but not where he was used at the Broncos. It is important to remember that Martin is a half by trade who played fullback, not the other way around.
2016-2019 inclusive, Martin has 33 full games in the halves for the Panthers and Cowboys – which in itself is a little concerning that he hasn’t been able to string some performances together. That said, the Warriors got him until 2025, and see him as the perfect partner for Shaun Johnson. So what can we expect from TMM in 2023?
In short, a surprisingly high base. Martin averages 20+ tackles and 70 run metres when playing in the halves, and he only scores under 20 points in 16% of games (about 1 in 6). Compare that to his fullback performances, where he only scores 20+ in half his games. Tackling helps, adding 10+ points in base stats in the halves compared to fullback.
The condensed version is simple: Martin averaged 22 in 2022, and has a career halves average of 31 prior to the introduction of points for turnover tackles, so conservatively we are looking at about 10 points in value there. Important to note his kick metres are only 30 per game in that sample.
So what is the upside: well, aside from being a cheap 19th-21st man without a bye until Round 12 who then plays the first bye round, Martin is also likely going to be asked to take up some additional kicking duties, with Charnze at fullback not being a kicker, and Shaun Johnsons legs on the way out. Johnsons spine partners registered about 150 kick metres per game in 2022, so if TMM can even take 80% of that he will add 3 points to his average.
The downside: the Warriors have an atrocious schedule to start 2023, in fact the hardest of any team, and they look set to be competing for the spoon – although stranger things have happened and the have had a huge roster overhaul! (See Cowboys 2022)
In summary, TMM seems very Amone/Ilias-esque, but given his experience, it seems a bit more likely he will succeed. Would not blame anyone for avoiding him given the experience of many people (who didn’t listen to us when we called him an avoid) in 2022, but make no mistake – TMM is a viable emergency option/cash cow in 2023.