Live updates: NRL - NZ Warriors v Manly Sea Eagles at Auckland's Go Media Stadium

  • 13/04/2024

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Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the NZ Warriors v Manly Sea Eagles NRL clash at Auckland's Go Media Stadium.

After a stuttering start to their 2024 campaign, the Warriors have now won three on the trot, but face another 3-2 team in front of another soldout crowd at their spiritual home.

Before the creation of the Auckland club, Manly were New Zealand's most popular NRL club, thanks to the Graham Lowe-Matthew Ridge connection, and there will likely be a smattering of Sea Eagles colours around the ground tonight.

The Warriors have not been able to field a full-strength line-up yet this season, with fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad only returning last week, but five-eighth Luke Metcalf, forward Marata Niukore and now interchange prop Bunty Afoa sidelined.

So far, their depth has carried them through, but Manly are dangerous, with Daly Cherry-Evans starring at halfback and Tommy 'Turbo' Trbojevic currently between injuries at fullback.

Join us at 5pm for kickoff.

TAB Odds: Warriors $1.44, Manly $2.70


'Can't tell you my spots': Fishing key to Warriors star Martin's return from injury-cursed season

NZ Warriors star Te Maire Martin has faced enough injuries to know what goes around usually comes around.

In 2019, while on contract with North Queensland Cowboys, he suffered a brain bleed that eventually forced him into premature retirement, before a stint in the Waikato club competition rekindled his NRL career with Brisbane Broncos two years later.

Crossing the Tasman to join the Warriors, he began the 2023 season as Shaun Johnson's preferred halves partner, but a broken leg again forced him to the sidelines, before he returned for a playoff run that ended with defeat to the Broncos in the preliminary final.

Te Maire Martin in action against South Sydney Rabbitohs. Photo credit: Photosport

In a threeway battle for the No.6 jersey, Martin began this season in the reserves, but stepped back into first grade with an impressive performance against South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend, barely missing a beat.

He reveals the key to riding the NRL injury rollercoaster is finding something away from the football field that brings you joy. In his case, that release is the ocean.

"Fishing and hunting keep me nice and happy," Martin admitted. "You've got to have a good balance of foot and away from footy.

"I've just hooked up a nice boot, so I've been fishing and keeping myself happy... keeping my partner happy with nice fish for dinner. I don't get too caught up in the footy, and not playing or playing.

"Last year's stint off the field just made me appreciate playing. I enjoy playing and if I can play first grade, even better."

Martin preaches the remedial qualities of salty seawater, as much for the soul as any physical wounds.

"A bit of fishing, with some diving at the end always makes it better," he said. "That kind of injury wasn't something you could prep for - hip drop, broken leg, you can't do much about it,

"I suppose I'm not getting any younger and should think about doing more recovery. At the moment, it's been alright, but it's only round five - we'll see, by Round 20, if I'm still saying the same thing."

He's cagey about his favourite fishing locations - "I can't tell you my spots... you don't want to go to my spots anyway, you can't find anything" - but admits he's tried to spread the love around his teammates.

"A few of the boys have been coming," he said. "We try to do it early in the week, when we get our day off, because as you get closer to games, you don't want to be thinking too much about other things."

One who hasn't taken up the invitation - yet - is fellow half Luke Metcalf, who has been his biggest rival for five-eighth selection. When Martin broke his leg last year, Metcalf took over and stamped his mark, earning a contract extension through 2026.

A hamstring injury allowed Martin to regain the jersey late in the season, but Metcalf was preferred to start this campaign, until he also broke his leg against Newcastle Knights last week.

"I know Luke will be pretty gutted," said Martin. "It sucks sitting on the sideline, watching the boys go well, especially when you have soldout games... he will know how fun it is to play in front of the home crowds when it's packed.

Te Maire Martin in action for the Warriors.
Te Maire Martin in action for the Warriors. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's a bit of mental drain, but it's a matter of trying to find something fun outside of footy that you enjoy and not get caught up too much in it."

That mindset has been key to Martin's reincarnation in the Warriors starting line-up.

"When you've got long-term injuries... we're training football scenarios each week and you're off doing more of a pre-season grind, and you're doing it by yourself often enough," reflected Warriors coach Andrew Webster.

"All of a sudden, you're fit enough and you get thrown back into football, and you get about two weeks before you're expected to hit the ground running right before playoffs. I thought Te Maire did a great job doing that, but even by his own standards, he had more in him.

"He carried an injury into that Broncos game and we had to rebuild him again over the pre-season. It's a hard slog for guys who are injured for that period of time, because you're missing so many reps, but I think he's handled it well."

When Metcalf eventually surfaces from his operation, the pair will undoubtedly compare notes on long rehab strategy.

"He hasn't even been to training and I'm not too sure when he'll be in," said Martin. "I don't think he even likes fishing... he's one of those people who doesn't like the dirty smell."