Behind Rhyse Martin's five-second ISP cameo
Rhyse Martin spent more time getting kitted up in a Bulldogs jersey than he did on the field in his first game on Sunday.
Canterbury went to great lengths for Martin to be eligible for the Intrust Super Premiership finals over the weekend with the back-rower taking the field for a five-second cameo before later playing against the Warriors.
Martin needed to play in one more game to be eligible for the lower-grade finals in September. The 26-year-old walked onto the paddock before moving to the wing for the kick-off. He then ran to the sideline as the Bulldogs kicked off before leaving the field with a wry smile.
The rare moment is not a first for the game but left people divided over the eligibility rule as the Bulldogs were left with 16 players for the final 79 minutes of the match.
"It got all the approvals from the NRL," Martin told NRL.com.
"That qualified me, it's not what I wanted to do or what you want to do for your teammates but it is what it is.
"Georgie (Bulldogs coach Steve Georgallis) said because I started there this year as captain of the side he pushed for me to be in the finals with them. I was with the boys and helped them warm up, but other than that I just had the kit on.
"You don't want to do that but George has been rotating the team. They turned up, the team is solid. A few of the boys had a laugh, it wasn't good to do it to them but I was glad they got a win.
"I want to finish the year in the NRL and if the boys are still in the finals by then I'll drop back and hopefully get to the grand final."
Martin produced another consistent performance in the Bulldogs' 27-26 NRL win over the Warriors three hours later.
He has now slotted 32 from 33 goals since making his debut in round nine.
"Just consistency in what I'm doing, my routine is consistent and they're just going through," Martin said of his outstanding goal-kicking record.
"It's coming off my boot nicely. I try and keep it as simple as I can but there's also a few things I need to work on around the other parts of my game."
The Papua New Guinea international was relieved the club had got themselves out of wooden spoon territory for the time being.
Canterbury leapfrogged Manly into 13th position with their one-point win.
"We don't deserve to be sitting where we are, I think we've been in nearly every game we've played this year," Martin said.
"It's footy and we're finishing the year strong. We're not giving up on this season even though there's no chance of finals. We're building for next year."