Martin pinching himself over NQ move

Cowboy Te Maire Martin is pinching himself being in the NRL finals after struggling at Penrith.

Cowboy Te Maire Martin is pinching himself being in the NRL finals after struggling at Penrith.

His team has been written off.

And he is battling a knee injury.

But life could not be sweeter for North Queensland pivot Te Maire Martin ahead of Saturday night's NRL semi-final against Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.

At the start of the season his route to the post season looked to be at Penrith but after seven rounds he found himself relegated to reserve grade to find form.

Then the Cowboys came calling.

Martin snapped up a three-year contract mid-season to join the Cowboys and is a rejuvenated figure in a North Queensland side just two wins away from a grand final.

"I pinch myself all the time," he told AAP.

"I think how lucky I am to be able to come up here being in the situation that I was in (in Penrith).

"It's the best move I have ever made."

Martin has played nine games for North Queensland this year - all at five-eighth - since his club debut in round 17, proving the perfect foil for halfback Michael Morgan in Johnathan Thurston's absence.

Thurston was ruled out for the season with shoulder issues in June.

Martin - with just 15 NRL games to his name - reckoned it wasn't too hard filling the void left by future Immortal Thurston in the Cowboys halves.

"It wasn't too bad for me because there is not going to be another JT so I just try and do the best that I can," Martin said of Thurston, who will retire at the end of 2018.

"I am definitely not going to be JT.

"The way we have gone (halves partner) Michael Morgan is playing the Johnno role and I am just trying to do my job."

Morgan again stepped up without Thurston, cooly potting the match winning field goal in their extra-time upset over Cronulla last week.

"He is so composed and chilled," Martin said of Morgan.

He still doesn't expect anyone to give them a chance against the Eels but isn't exactly bothered.

"This is my first taste of finals footy in the NRL. It is really exciting for me," he said.

"We know we will be written off again.

"It doesn't matter what the media say, we will let our playing do the talking."

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