MARTIN Kennedy has rediscovered his mojo while playing for the Ipswich Jets.
The giant prop has been named 18th man for the Broncos for tomorrow night’s clash at Suncorp Stadium with the Bulldogs but the QT understands he may be either in the run-on side or come off the bench.
Kennedy will not make the trip to Papua New Guinea with the Jets for Saturday’s Intrust Super Cup clash with the Hunters.
He was not getting much time off the bench for the Broncos earlier in the season.
The former Norths and Lowood junior wasn’t at his best. The Broncos weren’t at their best either. But it is a results based game and Kennedy was sent back to the Jets.
After being dropped, Kennedy could have come back and kicked stones. However, Ipswich chairman Steve Johnson said Kennedy has shown the character and the form while playing with Ipswich to warrant an NRL recall.
“Marty started his resurgence in the second half of our game against Souths,” Johnson said.
“Then against Easts he was very good where he had 12 carries, 140-odd metres and 25 tackles.
“We played against Mitch Garbutt, who is the best front-rower in the Intrust Super Cup, but we had Marty there to meet him head on. He was easily the players’ player.
“Then he was dominant against a really good Mackay pack last week.
“We just wanted to simplify it for Marty and get him to run hard and enjoy it.
“He is starting to find his confidence, and playing for our coaches Ben and Shane (Walker) that isn’t hard to do.”
Kennedy, 25, has always endeared himself to the Ipswich rugby league community.
In all his interviews, he gives credit to his grounding as a junior at Norths and Lowood where he rose to play for the Jets and then the Sydney Roosters.
Johnson said the club never lost faith that Kennedy would rediscover his form and his love of footy.
“We always knew he would, because he is one of our own,” Johnson said.
“We were always very confident that if Marty got to spend time with guys like Keiron Lander, and under Ben and Shane, that he would step up and want to be involved and want to contribute, and he has delivered in spades.
“And he has been doing it with a smile on his face.”
Johnson said Kennedy’s future was in his own hands.
“What Marty has got is that ability to hit the line and push another six or seven metres carrying four or five blokes, and then get a quick play the ball,” Johnson said.
“Just like Mal Meninga had to when he was younger, Marty just needs to believes that he is geneti- cally a freak and play to his size.
“At Souths (in the 1980s) Mal would burst through the line and then offload, but I don’t think Mal appreciated until he was older just what a big weapon he was in attack.
“I’m not saying he is in Mal’s class but I don’t think Marty understands what a big human being he is and how difficult he is to handle when he runs with purpose and intent.
“The Broncos obviously have to make a decision about the future with all the money they have (tied up) in the front row.
“But the answer is with Marty. He is the only one who can make the Broncos want to keep him.”
Forward of the future
THE late, great Maroons legend Arthur Beetson knew talent when he saw it. That is why Beetson predicted early that Martin Kennedy would be a representative forward of the future.
Last year Kennedy was named 18th man for the Maroons and on the cusp of his Origin debut before injury struck.
He is on contract at Brisbane until the end of 2016 but there has been talk of him possibly being released.
Kennedy’s manager Sam Ayoub was to meet with incoming coach Wayne Bennett yesterday where his future at the Broncos was to be discussed.
The meeting had to be postponed, but Ayoub told the QT yesterday that he had met with Kennedy recently and that he was in an upbeat frame of mind.