Martin searches for first NRL win

Panthers rookie Liam Martin. Photo: Melinda Jane
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While Penrith fans have been struggling with the side’s losing streak, spare a thought for Panthers rookie Liam Martin.

Since making his NRL debut in Round 3 against the Melbourne Storm in Bathurst, the 22-year-old lock from country NSW is yet to taste victory in the NRL.

Now five games into his NRL career, Martin is praying a win isn’t too far way.

“I haven’t had a win yet, perhaps I’m the jinx,” he told Extra Time.

“We are all definitely frustrated especially when you look at the talent in our side and to not be transferring that into results is extremely disappointing.

“We are all feeling it on and off field, but we just have to stick together and have each other’s backs.”

Martin has been part of the Panthers’ famed junior system since 2015 when he moved from Temora near Wagga to live out his rugby league dream.

After a successful stint in SG Ball, Martin progressed to Penrith’s NYC side in 2016 and was part of the club’s premiership-winning ISP team the following year.

Martin’s strong performances last season saw him selected in the NSW Residents side and named on the bench in the ISP Team of the Year.

Last week against the New Zealand Warriors Martin enjoyed another significant career milestone, named in Ivan Cleary’s run-on side for the first time.

Martin says he has to pinch himself when he thinks about how far he’s come this year.

“At the start of the year I was hoping to get a debut but I certainly didn’t think it would come as early as Round 3,” Martin said.

“I’m getting more comfortable and used to the intensity and tempo of the game each week. It was another step up playing in the run-on side, the start of the game was so quick.”

The Temora Dragons junior is signed until the end of 2021.

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