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.

Workplace death leads to manslaughter charge

A 24-year-old Yarrabilba man was charged with one count of manslaughter following Workplace Health and Safety investigations.

A man has been charged with manslaughter

'A wombat the size of an elephant': Miners dig up a giant

MEGA MARSUPIAL: A Diprotodon, the largest known marsupial to have ever lived. A jawbone found by Ipswich miner Dennis Russell belonged to a Kukaodonta, a giant marsupial similar to the Diprotodon.

"There was a full jaw bone with two giant tusks"

Meet Gatton's gorgeous cop and stunner girlfriend

Mason Jago and his girlfriend Tayla Lange.

We talk dogs, day-trips and community policing with Constable Mason

Local Partners

Sam Newman: How a Playboy magazine changed everything

SAM Newman was so desperate he was stealing food from Channel Seven. Chocolate, cheese, orange juice — whatever he could get his hands on.

Leah slams Matty: ‘I was incredibly disappointed’

Leah says she was ‘incredible disappointed’ with Matty J.

BACHELOR evictee's controversial chat with Kyle and Jackie O.

John Eales finds peace with the haka

Inia Maxwell and John Eales in a scene from the documentary John Eales Reveals: The Haka.

Rugby legend is on a quest to learn about a sacred Maori tradition/

The Bachelor recap: Secret pasts publicly exposed

Matty J is left speechless on The Bachelor.

TWO Bachelor contestants’ secret adult pasts have been exposed.

Mother-daughter duo passes Top of the Lake test

Alice Englert, Jane Campion and Nicole Kidman pose for a photograph at the Top of the Lake: China Girl Australian premiere in Sydney.

Alice Englert is a feisty addition to the cast of mum's crime drama.

What's on the big screen this week

Idris Elba in a scene from the movie The Dark Tower.

IDRIS Elba debuts as the Gunslinger in The Dark Tower.

Fancy a head full of Coldplay on Samsung VR?

Coldplay will come to you in VR

Supergroup's Chicago show will be streamed in virtual reality

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

How we got a rental straight away on the Coast

Rita and David Allara, moved down from Townsville, paid three months up front rent to secure the place at flash new unit block in Kings Beach.

Genius move helps secure rental property

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause

Reports of Ibrahim family connections to farm and food hub

John Ibrahimat Bluesfest 2012.

REPORTS circulate colourful Sydney family have investments on the NR

Stunning, heritage-listed Coast home going under the hammer

STUNNING: Buderim House, a stunning heritage-listed Queenslander estate, is going to auction.

Coast home that played host to royalty is set for auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!