Martin returns to PNG

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday March 7th, 2014


The Mackay Cutters will be featuring a part-Papua New Guinean in Tyson Martin, pictured.

Martin made his international debut with the PNG PMs XIII in 2009 off the bench. 

Later in 2009, he played both games off the bench in Papua New Guinea’s successful Pacific Cup campaign. 

The backrower is eligible for the Kumuls due to his Papua New Guinean father.  

Martin has been promoted to captain of this year Mackay’s in tomorrow’s historical Queensland Intrust Super Cup opener at the Kalabond Stadium in Kokopo. 

The North Queensland Cowboys affiliate team will be etched in history as the first team from the Q-Cup to play a game away from Australian soil in a 13-team competition.

The Cutters, scheduled to fly in Tokua direct from Cairns have made only one change to last week’s team in suspended player, Jason Schirnack who will be replaced by new recruit Aleki Falepaini. 

The Cutters under Martin’s leadership polled 72% of fan votes as the favourites to defend their premiership title. However, Mackay started their season off with a heavy loss (40-12) to Easts Tigers and would be aiming to take down the Hunters at home at the ground locally known as the ‘Graveyard’.  

Martin, began his junior league with Proserpine Brahmans, then Cairns Brothers before being recruited to play in the inaugural Toyota Cup season for the North Queensland Cowboys. 

He later joined the Mackay Cutters in the Queensland Cup signing on with them for the 2010 season and his good form was rewarded with a first grade contract with the Cowboys for 2012.

However, an anterior cruciate ligament injury cruelled his opportunity for a big time when he was ruled out for the entire NRL season.

He leads the Cutters’ tomorrow as captain with a sell-out crowd expected for the first home-ground match.  

The Mackay team following their schedule d 1:30pm arrival, will unpack and prepare a team training session in the afternoon.

The next day, the team will take a Tour of the War Memorial in the morning before heading to the Kalabond in the afternoon for the 2pm kick off.

The Hunters depart at 6:00am today for Tokua and at 10am are scheduled to do a community tour followed by a captains’ run at 2:30pm – which is when skipper Israel Eliab will lead a light training session.