Warriors happy to juggle star halves pairing for Storm

Warriors coach Andrew Webster says Te Maire Martin won't be cast aside by the return of Shaun Johnson to face Melbourne as his resurgent team hunt a top-eight spot in the NRL.

The Warriors have won three straight, taking the scalps of Penrith and the Dolphins, before crushing the Cowboys by 30 points in Townsville last round.

They currently sit 10th but fancy their chances against the top-ranked Storm, who denied the Aucklanders victory in their round-two clash in Melbourne with a spectacular 79th-minute try by winger Xavier Coates.

"We've got a lot of respect for them and what they've done in the NRL," Webster said of the Storm.

"We know if we get our best game on we're going to give ourselves a huge chance to win. We're confident, but there's still a lot of respect."

Te Maire-Martin scored a try for the Warriors.
Te Maire Martin scored a try for the Warriors in their victory over the Dolphins in Auckland.

In Johnson's absence due to a pectoral injury and niggling achilles issues, Martin has relished his opportunity to wear the No.7 jersey. He had four try assists and three line breaks against North Queensland.

Webster described Martin as a "revelation" and said he would keep him in the halves, while Chanel Harris-Tavita, who has played at six for the past fortnight, will fill another role in the 17 at Auckland's Go Media Stadium.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is set to be included in the 22, but Webster said he's likely to need another week's training as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

"Shaun is going to play, that's exciting,'' Webster said.

"It will look different to what it was when he got injured, so obviously Te Maire's been an absolute success and we're going to balance it up so that they both get the shot.

Shaun Johnson has been out of the Warriors side.
Shaun Johnson has been out of the Warriors side with a pectoral injury and achilles issues.

"Te Maire is still going to get to play his way ... it's going to be a good combination, but it's not going to change much for Te Maire this week.

"Shaun's a good player and he needs to come back in, but we need to ensure Te Maire gets to play the way he wants to, so we will balance up the team." 

Webster described the emergence of Martin as the "silver lining" to Johnson's injury.

"You're forced to make decisions and those end up being the right ones, you get to showcase somebody else and they're confident, and Shaun comes back and he wants to fit in with what the team needs and we've got threats on both sides of the field."

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