Jaw didn't make me tentative: Lawrence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jaw didn't make me tentative: Lawrence

By David Beniuk 20/09/2010 07:39:51 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers centre Chris Lawrence says his team's woeful left-side defence had nothing to do with his early return from a broken jaw in last Friday's NRL semi-final win over Canberra.

Lawrence returned a week earlier than expected for the 26-24 victory at Canberra Stadium but was found out in defence as Raiders second-rower Bronson Harrison ran riot on the fringe.

But the City Origin centre says that wasn't because he was trying to protect his jaw in his comeback.

"It wasn't any sort of tentativeness, it was just a lot of communication errors, a few bad decisions made by all of us out there on that left hand side," he told AAP on Monday.

"Our left side didn't have the best game defensively but it was just a few communication problems between us, me coming back and a few changes.

"That will be fixed up this week."

Despite Harrison scoring one try and creating another strolling through some poor defence, Lawrence does not believe he was targeted.

"In a semi-final game if you try and target one player too much you probably go away from your own game-plan," he said.

"They probably just worked to their strengths.

"They came my side as much as any other game."

Lawrence believes he was "probably 100 per cent" going into the match after healing quicker than his surgeon had anticipated.

"There was always going to be a risk because it might not have been a hundred per cent, but it would have taken a fair sort of hit to do it so that gave me a bit of confidence going in," he said.

"Once you're in the game you don't really think about it.

"It might play on your mind a bit before the game but I made sure the day before the game I got plenty of contact in ... so once I got my first run and first tackle in the game, it was the last thing on my mind.

"My main concern was I didn't want to think I'm right going into the game and five minutes in get injured and leave the team short."

The Tigers don't just believe they can fix their leaking left-side, they reckon they can match St George Illawarra's impregnable wall.

"Most premierships are won on the back of defence, Melbourne have shown it over the years and St George set the precedent this year," five-eighth Benji Marshall said.

But that doesn't mean the signature flick pass, which resulted in a try to lock Chris Heighington last Friday, will disappear.

"We've got this far off the way we've been playing so we're not going to change that now and go into our shell and play conservative," Marshall said.

"That's what we're known for and that's how we play so we're going to have to play like that."

The Tigers expect all of their players to back up against the Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Saturday despite several niggles and prop Bryce Gibbs sporting a moon boot on Monday.

There are certainly no concerns over Marshall, who the club said was in doubt for most of last week.

"There's nothing wrong with my knee, it was just acting, just trying to get a role on something, if there's any roles out there, hook me up," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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