Sport

Injury-plagued Cowboys suffer another setback

KNEE ISSUE: Te Maire Martin of the Cowboys has been ruled out of the clash with Penrith.
KNEE ISSUE: Te Maire Martin of the Cowboys has been ruled out of the clash with Penrith. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

COWBOYS playmaker Te Maire Martin's hopes of taking on his former side Penrith tonight have been crushed by a knee injury, with Kyle Laybutt to take his place for the crucial NRL clash.

Laybutt wasn't named in the initial 21-man squad on Tuesday, but the Cowboys have been granted dispensation by the NRL to play the 21-year-old after Martin succumbed to a minor knee injury he suffered against Melbourne last week.

It's another blow to an already injury-plagued Cowboys outfit fighting to cement a place in the finals after back-to-back losses.

Cowboys coach Paul Green said he may decide to start utility Ben Hampton in the halves and put Laybutt on the bench, after he performed strongly when moved to hooker by Townsville Blackhawks last week.

Rookie back-rower Patrick Mago also travelled with the squad to Penrith yesterday amid conjecture he is a chance to make his NRL debut, with Sam Hoare the man most likely to make way should it eventuate.

Green said Martin only had a low-grade medial ligament strain and looked set to play Cronulla next week.

But given key men Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Gavin Cooper and Antonio Winterstein are all sidelined, it wasn't worth taking the gamble at Penrith.

"The fact he probably wouldn't have trained until this morning, I chose earlier in the week (to scratch him) rather than risk not having a good preparation. It will put him in good stead for next week," Green said.

"He did it reasonably early in that second half and finished the half, which was a really good sign.

"We don't want to roll the dice at this stage of the year with players like that."

Laybutt made his debut this year in round 15 against Melbourne, and also played in the home win over Penrith the following week before returning to Queensland Cup.

Green said his versatility worked in his favour when giving him the nod.

"He actually had a bit of time at hooker too last week so that adds another string to his bow," Green said.

"He's a good defender and has a great pass, he's got the attributes to make a good utility player.

"He played Penrith last time so he shouldn't be overawed. The fact he's got his debut out of the way is a good thing so you're not going through all those nerves.

"It'll be either one (Hampton or Laybutt in the halves), if one doesn't start the other will be on the bench.

"I've got full confidence in Kyle otherwise I wouldn't pick him. I think he did a good job for us when he played NRL."

Green said he expected Panthers skipper Matt Moylan to play after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury.

It adds to the challenge for the depleted Cowboys, who could finish the round as low as eighth if they fail to beat Penrith.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  north queensland cowboys te maire martin


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Remarkable ring recoveries inspire woman's own plea

APPEAL: Inspired by miraculous recovery stories, Dalby's Katrina Reed has gone public with an appeal to find her husband Scott Reed's ring (inset).

And now she's turning to social media for help

Sex tape sequel: Man caught on camera slapped with penalty

SEX SLAVES: Human trafficking will be discussed at the upcoming Splendour Immerse Women Conference at Gayndah's ACC Church. Photo Brandon Livesay / Central & North Burnett Times

Offender exposed himself on pool table in beer garden

Your snaps could help us understand artesian springs

Travel snaps of Great Artesian Basin springs could help the government document their unique ecosystems.

Holiday snaps could help government protect springs

Local Partners

Walking for a great cause

In an extraordinary feat nurse Leon Brown walked from Dirranbandi Hospital to St George Hospital on the weekend to raise money for hospital auxiliary.

Painting a brighter future for koalas

WORTH SAVING: The Queensland Koala Crusaders' Community Crowdfunding Campaign aims to raise $30,000 towards the cost of planting 10,000 trees for koalas.

Queensland Koala Crusaders have launched a crowdfunding campaign

REVEALED: Liam Gallagher is coming to Falls Festival

English musician, singer, and songwriter, former lead singer of the rock band Oasis, Liam Gallagher performs during his concert at National Olympic Sports Center in Beijing, China, 10 August 2017.

He revealed the news ahead of the official line up announcement

The Project will now be on six nights a week

CHANNEL Ten’s Logie winning news and entertainment program The Project is expanding with a special Sunday night edition and a new host.

Click your fingers, tap your toes

Helen Peters, Elisabeth Wallis-Gaedtke, Evalee Sharples and Kemal Avunduk rehearse for Fascinating Rhythm, Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir's performance of hot jazz, sizzling samba, Latin beats and smooth swing sounds at Lake Kawana Community Centre on August 26-27.

Libby to set beat for Fascinating Rhythm this weekend

Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in London

Margot, is that really you?

MARGOT Robbie looks completely unrecognisable as Queen Elizabeth I.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 finale predictions

Emilia Clarke in a scene from season 7 of Game of Thrones.

JON and Daenerys finally met. But what happens next?

Reese Witherspoon on being a ‘has-been’ at 36

Witherspoon’s career has never looked better but that didn’t stop people declaring her a “has-been”.

Reese on the ‘brutal’ article that called her a has-been at 36.

RECAP: Game of Thrones s7 e6 - Beyond the Wall

Kristofer Hivju, Kit Harington, Iain Glen, Paul Kaye and Joe Dempsie in a scene from Game of Thrones.

*Warning this story contains spoilers about today's new episode*

Paul Kelly announces massive Australian tour

Paul Kelly is going on a 16-date national tour in November.

Music legend thrills fans with the announcement of a massive tour.

Residents fear sand mine sell out by State Minister

Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.Cou

Further testing undertaken on site, despite claims of significance

Investors quick to snap up property in key growth corridor

High-profile commercial site sells at auction for $4.920m

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

199 home sites approved in Evans Head

The Evans Head Manufactured Home Estate plans. Zoran Architecture.

Manufactured Home estate approved near aerodrome

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!