Ethyn Martin

One player i am looking forward to see play, and hope he gets minutes, is Ethyn Martin. 21 year old Winger that is not even a year into his return to League. He is raw in terms of development, however has a lot of natural ability. He is tall, has size with a decent build, quickness, agility and ability to play Fullback also. Now as for Wingers, Sivo and Russell are our starters, though Sivo is ageing and has questions marks over his consistency, while Russell is decent there are questions over his potential of what he can become. Martin is raw, though 13 tries in 10 Flegg games is a feat, he is a quick learner. For Martin debuting in NSW Cup in Round 1 is crucial if he wants an NRL debut as soon as this year.

At the moment, it seems the backline in Cup will be:

1. Talagi

2. Dunster

3. Cini

4. Harper/Simonsson

5. Lumelume/Martin.

Lumelume is the competition for him, unless Talagi is moved from Fullback and features in another position or at 14 or Lumelume plays Centre or there is an injury in general. But the trial against Canberra is where he needs to make dent. If the team list comes out and he is not starting, it will be a slow start for him, not be all and end all but starting from that trial is crucial for him and his development.

Compared to all the Wingers in our squads, all of them, Martin is i feel the most naturally gifted. You have Sivo and Dunster who are big body Wingers who are used to make metres and Sivo to use size to score tries. Russell is a worker who does not do anything great but nothing bad either, just that reliable piece. Lumelume is a big body that doesn't move that well and has some ok speed. Martin has pace, size, footwork and natural ability. He has freak tendancies about him. But i preface all that by saying he is super raw, there is a lot of work to do, defence mainly but being a quick learner and already developed physically (Bloke is ripped). Question around Martin is why is he a late bloomer and what happened in Rugby for him not being looked at for Super Rugby. But if you see pics of him from early 2022 in Rugby to now he has easily gained 5kg and added strength.

Overall, i am wondering if anyone could see Martin being that player for us that just comes out of nowhere, but like Semi in 2014 (not saying he will be Semi, just an example). Or Sivo in 2019. Or Ma'u in 2014 came out of nowhere in pre-season to start for 6 years for us.

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  • Size, speed, agility and jumping ability is what we need.

    If he covers all of those areas, he would be a good replacement for Russell. 

    • Put it this way, on Insta he put up his progress to his build and he is massive in shoulders, chest and arms. The fact he has that and maintained his speed is incredible.

      • Sounds like just what we need in our backline. 

        • He's not like Sivo big but he's lanky and got that something special.

          If Flegg is an indicator he can be an X-factor, but long way to go.

  • 12378322463?profile=RESIZE_930x

    • Can see he has some build on him.

      • And he's a blood nut.

  • Firstly I am excited about his potential as well.

    You make a caveat about him being "raw" and that does not concern me, Great wingers show up early and as Bem said if he can run, jump and catch he is already there. It seems that he also has that anticipatory ability to be in the right place at the right time.You are born with that, you can't develop it.

    I am concerned we do not seem to have kept him going in the second half of the preseason, I would have thought he would be in there competeing for Ruseell's (seemingly) wing spot. Maybe he is and 60's hasnt noticed (60's is the only source or am I missing info from anyone else?).

    Finally I do not rate Lumelume at all and also take note that you call Dunster a big body winger who makes ground. Maybe that is the new look Dunster but we are yet to see him make ground? That said before his injuries he was not that type of winger and last year just about any of our forwards were quicker. Dunster was rated because of that "low pickup", outstanding try but I was far from convinced about him before the injury, he had poor jumping and catching skills and was rated in the second rung of the juniors coming through. Nothing against the bloke but I think he will not be the horse I will be backing to be our FG Winger in coming years.

    • I should have said Dunster is more in the Russell bracket in that he is a hard working Winger that relied on post contact metres as his strength. I was ok with Dunster in 2022 being our starter, but was not sold on him being the future at that time. Now i am not sold at all and content on him being depth. I found in 2021 he got better each game he played, though he was just a player that gave his all and did nothing amazing. He is fast but not that fast, ok under the high ball, defensive is average and takes some decent runs with his leg drive being his best assest post contact. Same as Russell, who i feel is much better, maybe a little faster, better runner, better under high ball but not leaps and bounds better. Russell is more trust worthy though. But both are too similar as a player, Martin is god gifted in how he moves hope the potential is met.

      As for your first paragraph, he has a lot of god given talent, which the likes of Dunster and Russell do not have. The speed, balance and core strength you cannot train or teach. The thing about Martin aswell is he played a lot of Rugby but at 16 he had his sights on play Sevens for NZ then moving into Super Rugby. He played a lot in England and France i believe also. He has had experience in a lot of different forms of Rugby Union and League. He was a prodigy in Gold Coast making 13's sides rep, then moved back to XV side game to make it in Union. 

      Techinically he is still learning the game. He is more advanced than what say Semi was when he came here since Martin did play League up to 13's before shifting so he did play it prior to coming to us but he is learning the speed of the game again with men bigger than he has faced. 

      He could be a very handy Fullback, though his development might be better suited to getting into a Wing spot to start but he has the skills to be a threat at Fullback, he could even be a player you can utilise like we did with Luke Burt where he roamed the middle waiting for a kick or offload. Watching his highlights, granted they are highlights, it is incredible to watch him run with pace at that height and weight. Plus he is not a Winger that will easily be pushed out either, he has great turn of foot to step back in and strength to brush off incoming defenders. Also runs leaning forward willing to barge his way through. Sixties on TCT, who has seen more of him, mentioned he is not afraid of contact which is half the battle of coming into grade, that attitude to contact and putting your body on the line.

      I just want to see him on Saturday and see how he handles men as he has not done that yet in League. As for Lumelume, i do not rate him one bit, i see him as a complete break glass option if desperate he can hold the fort for a week or two and do a job. But I would be looking at giving Martin the start somehow on Saturday and see if he swims. If his Flegg form is any indicator he will adapt quickly.

      • Cannot disagree with anything you said LB.

        One thing a small aside, is that it seems many think winger is a low paid job and that you only need someone with basic skills..... I think those days and thoughts are long gone. Match winning wingers are what the game is about these days, that said they don't win them unless they have the right players inside them.....I know it sounds obvious but I suspect some don't rate the position as importantly as i do.

        I have left Sivo alone for the time being, if his fitness is now right and he has learnt a lot more about the game, then I think he can emerge again as the match winner we have all been thinking he could be.  He will never be another Semi, but he has done some strange things lately, long distance tries and seemingly over his calf muscle problems, I am not worried about his age, we probably don't know how old he really is anyway.

        Lol my son played school boy rugby union and we had a PNG (Boy) in the team that played wing, now the kids were 17/18 years old this kid (a great guy by the way) was my wife and I reckon, was about 40 years old. We know this purely by interacting as it was a private international school (in Australia)and many time's over  weekend's he would stay with us.

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