Though 2022 for a long time looked like one of Leeds’ worst ever Super League seasons, the same could not be said for Rhyse Martin.
As Leeds struggled, he excelled with plenty of tries either playing at centre or second-row even switching to the left away from his traditional right edge to accommodate James Bentley in a move that has massively benefitted the Papua New Guinea captain.
After a fantastic brace against Salford on Sunday, he now has eight tries to his name for the season which is an impressive total for a second-row for sure.
It goes nicely with his average of eight points per game since joining the Rhinos though the rate at which Leeds are scoring that’s set to rise having scored 41.3 points per game in their last six games with 248 points in total many of which have come from Martin’s boot who has kicked his last 23 attempts at goal including seven from seven on Sunday to down Salford with his accuracy proving key at vital moments of the game such as after Ash Handley’s intercept try.
He quite rightly received the Man of the Match and has subsequently been included in the Team of the Week.
Though the praise doesn’t end there with his coach Rohan Smith speaking about the value he brings to the side as well as the fans noting the energy his success rate in front of goal brings to the fans.
“Rhyse is trusting his swing and putting the work in, they’re coming off sweet,” Smith said, “You can feel the energy in the crowd as soon as the ball hits his foot and then you hear the voice to follow.
“Rhyse is a good all round player.”
It is this which makes him arguably Leeds’ biggest loss for this week’s clash against Hull KR even though Aidan Sezer and David Fusitu’a will join him on the sidelines with bans of their own.
It means Leeds will have to find a new goal kicker for starters with Sezer the second choice also absent. Ash Handley and Cameron Smith have kicked goals before as has Richie Myler. Harry Newman is also said to be good whilst Zak Hardaker is an experienced goal kicker for Leeds and Wigan.
But more importantly it means Leeds will be without perhaps their best player this year. Though it’ll be nice to see Morgan Gannon start as consequence.