'I couldn't care less': NSW's biggest 'grub' becoming public enemy number one in Queensland
Liam Martin won’t bite at Queensland claims he is the “grubbiest” and “dirtiest” NSW player since Paul Gallen, but is willing to give as good as he gets in Origin II on Sunday.
The Blues backrower was front and back-page news in Queensland on Wednesday, with The Courier Mail anointing him as the new enemy of the state because of the defensive tactics he employed in the series opener.
Still images aimed to show Martin had used his elbow and a swinging arm as the Blues tried to recover from the eventually losing scoreline of 16-10.
Martin was even compared to former Blues captain Gallen, who famously declared Queenslanders had “two heads”, and earned the disdain of the entire state.
“I’m not quite at his level, he was an outstanding player and the NSW captain,” Martin said on Wednesday.
“I think I’ve got a way to go before I’m on the level of Gal.”
Conceding he “probably” was a bit of a grub, Martin said the Maroons’s tactics to get under his skin wouldn’t affect his state of mind in Perth on Sunday.
“I didn’t really mind it, I couldn’t care less,” he said.
“That’s part of Origin and footy and what happens on the field.
“I probably am (a bit of a grub) and they’ll be into me and whatever they give I’ll give back.
“I don’t mind it (having a target on my back) and they can come for me all they want and whatever I get I’ll give back.”
Martin made his starting debut in Sydney and will now shift from the right edge to the left following Brad Fittler’s decision to axe Tariq Sims.
That side is full of Penrith teammates giving Martin a sense of comfort as the Blues aim to square the series.
“I think I’m going to play a bit of both,” Martin said.
“I have the ability to play on the left and the right and I play on the right at the Panthers.
“I’ve played both sides in the past and having Jarome (Luai) and Nathan (Cleary) alongside me makes it easy to adapt given I’ve played so much with them both.”
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