Halligan mentoring new Bulldogs kicker Martin

Halligan mentoring new Bulldogs kicker Martin

Goal-kicking guru and former New Zealand international Daryl Halligan has been mentoring Bulldogs second-rower Rhyse Martin, who has taken over the kicking duties since Moses Mbye's departure to the Wests Tigers.

The pre-eminent kicker of his time has worked at several NRL clubs helping goal kickers refine their art – including former Bulldogs great Hazem El Masri, the highest points scorer in history with 2418.

Halligan himself ranks fourth on that list (2034 points) from his time at Canterbury and North Sydney, and would have been impressed with Martin's efforts in Saturday's 36-16 win over Newcastle with six goals from as many attempts.

Martin also kicked four from four when he suited up for Papua New Guinea in their 26-14 win over Fiji a fortnight ago at the Pacific Test.

But the 25-year-old remains humble despite his perfect conversion rate in just his fifth game at NRL level.

"I had a good day I guess," Martin told NRL.com.

"We train hard here with Daryl - he's always giving us little pointers and ensuring that we are focusing in on those finer details of our kicking.

"When he was playing for the club he was definitely the best kicker in the whole competition so to have him come in and teach us has been a real help."

Bulldogs forward Rhyse Martin.
Bulldogs forward Rhyse Martin. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

Martin said he was confident he could continue to excel with the boot for the remainder of the season. 

"I know I can kick them," Martin said.

"I just have to keep my strike and my technique going into the ball the same and also not rushing my kicks, just taking my time - if I do that it will go over."

The Bulldogs are now four from 15 this season and were desperate for a win against Newcastle, with most of their defeats being by six points or fewer this season. 

"We were due for a win like that," Martin said.

"The boys have been battling away all year and scrapping a few wins and only losing some game by a couple of points."

"To get a decent win was really good."

After the mid-season departures of Mbye and Aaron Woods, five-eighth Lachlan Lewis and bench forward Ofahiki Ogden made their NRL debuts against Newcastle.

Martin said having two fresh faces in the side gave the squad an extra boost. 

"It's always good to get boys debuting," Martin said.

"We had the jersey presentation just before we went out to warm up and their families were in there so it was a special moment for them.

"All the boy got a lift from having new boys in the side and there was a lot of excitement and energy going into the game.

"I'm so happy we were able to get the win for them."