Rhyse Martin: Leeds Rhinos star keen to celebrate new contract with win over Hull FC at Magic Weekend
Ace marksman Rhyse Martin wants to celebrate his new contract by helping Leeds Rhinos to a vital win which could secure their place in the play-offs.
Rhinos take on rivals Hull at Dacia Magic Weekend in Newcastle today (Saturday) a day after announcing Martin has signed a new one-year contract keeping him at the club next season.
Leeds are fifth in Betfred Super League with three games remaining.
Martin has been a key player for Rhinos since joining them from Canterbury Bulldogs midway through 2019, scoring 372 points for Rhinos in 45 games.
He has a success rate with the boot of 83.72 per cent this year, but reckons his overall game can be better.
“I am still trying to be more consistent with my performances,” Martin stressed,
“It helps when we are winning, but personally I am just doing my best for the team each week.
“Sometimes it works out for me and others not so much, but I am just focusing on what I can bring to the team at the moment.”
Monday’s 20-13 defeat at Wakefield Trinity has heaped extra pressure on today’s clash with seventh-placed Hull and the Papua New Guinea captain admitted Leeds can’t afford any more slip-ups.
“We could have made it a bit more secure if we had another win up our sleeve, but it makes it interesting now,” Martin said.
“We’ve had a few losses in the last eight-10 games and that has put pressure on us, so every game is a must-win.
“We have got to turn up for the rest of the year.”
Today will be Rhinos’ 13th game - more than half their league campaign - since the start of July.
Martin refused to use fatigue as an excuse for the poor performance five days ago, but feels the workload this year has been “a bit of a joke”.
He reflected: “It is a bit ridiculous with all these games being played so close together.
“As a player, you don’t want to blame tiredness - every game is tough, no matter how many days you get off.
“We aren’t using it as an excuse, we just didn’t show up and Wakey did.
“They had one less day than we did [to prepare], but on the whole nobody should be playing that many games so close together.
“I think you lose the quality of the game, you lose a lot of players through injuries and a lot of players are struggling at the moment, not just in our squad, but through the whole league.”
Last year’s Magic Weekend was cancelled and today will be Martin’s first experience of the Super League event.
“I played in one in Australia,” he recalled.
“They brought it in, in 2019, before I came over here.
“It is a great concept, get all the fans there and it’s a bit of an event, so all the fans can enjoy not just one game, but hang around and enjoy all of them.
“It’s pretty exciting and the games on Saturday are all pretty big.
“There’s some quality games getting played so I think it’s going to be a great weekend.”
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