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Won't go changing: Lethal Liam vows to keep doing it his way

Liam Martin feared he would be ruled out of Origin II after suffering a head knock in Penrith’s win over the Roosters last weekend but the Blues second-rower has vowed not to change his tackling style.

Martin was removed from the field after showing symptoms of a Category 1 concussion following an attempted tackle on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves that NSW coach Brad Fittler described as “pretty dumb”.

The Kangaroos forward rushed out of the defensive line to attempt a big shot on Waerea-Hargreaves and his head made connected with the Kiwi's hip, forcing Martin to undergo an 11-day stand down under the NRL’s HIA protocols.

The back-to-back premiership winner, who was widely regarded as NSW’s best player in Origin I, said his immediate thought was that he may miss Game Two but his stand-down period officially ends hours before kick-off.

Liam Martin is unable to do contact training under the NRL's HIA protocols
Liam Martin is unable to do contact training under the NRL's HIA protocols ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

“I was counting the days and it is smack on, so I wasn’t quite sure,” Martin said. “The doctor re-assured me and our physio pinged me the next morning and said you will be good to go.

“I think at this time of the year you don’t really need to do too much contact. I’ve had plenty of it in the last couple of months so I reckon it will be good.”

Martin is unable to train with the NSW team and his progress will be continually monitored but he insisted that he was feeling fine.

Liam Martin off with a HIA

“There won't be any contact for the week, and then I think maybe on Sunday I can sort of get back with the team in a coloured bib and just do skills,” Martin said.

“I’m still in and amongst the team and making sure I have clarity on what my role will be. Freddy just said if I could replicate what I did in Game I that would be great.”

However, Fittler wants Martin to time his tackles better, telling reporters on Tuesday: “I watched the way he did it, and it was stupid so the less contact he does the better, I'd say. He was pretty dumb, I’m aware of that”.

Despite not being officially cleared until Wednesday, Martin said he doesn’t intend to alter his playing style or approach to the game for Origin II, which NSW must win after losing 26-18 in the series opener at Adelaide Oval.

“That's just how I play, like aggressive, and obviously it's a contact sport so sometimes accidents happen but I won't be changing how I play,” he said.

Rabbitohs pair Latrell Mitchell (calf) and Cameron Murray (groin) will also sit out of training until later in the week, with a decision expected to be made on their fitness before the team flies to Brisbane on Monday.

Latrell Mitchell is on a restricted training program ahead of Origin II
Latrell Mitchell is on a restricted training program ahead of Origin II ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Stephen Crichton, who replaced Mitchell in Origin I after he limped from the team’s final training session before travelling to Adelaide, is again on standby, along with South Sydney forward Keaon Koloamatangi.

Crichton is 18th man and Koloamatangi has also been named in the 19-man squad.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.