Wests Tigers vice-captain Chris Lawrence has given an honest assessment as to where the side is at after 10 rounds of the competition, as Wests Tigers look to bounce back this Saturday afternoon when they take on the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown.
Despite a recent big win over the Rabbitohs, the Eagle Vale junior insists the side’s inconsistent start to the year warrants their current position on the competition ladder.
“We know our potential and we know we are a better side, but what we are producing right now is probably rightly where we sit on the table.” Lawrence said.
Having been in a similar position to this week's opponents following a heavy defeat to the Raiders in Round 8, the 27-year old is adamant that Newcastle will turn up to the game ready to make amends for their humiliating 62-0 loss to Cronulla last Sunday.
“We had a loss similar to the one the Knights had on the weekend and turned it around the week later, so no doubt they’ll be looking to do the same thing,” he said.
“In saying that the loss we had on the weekend probably hurt just as much — if not more than the Canberra loss did — so we’ll be turned up on Sunday."
After a frustrating three years with injury during 2011-2013, Lawrence knows all too well the struggle to overcome long term stints on the sideline, and was full of praise for team-mate Matt Ballin, who returns for his Club debut after an ACL knee injury.
“It’s great to see Matty back,” Lawrence said. “He’s the ultimate professional and has done everything right to get back on the field and he’s just great to have around the squad,”
“He’s a senior player and is good for the young guys,
“It’s obviously a loss missing Robbie, but bringing someone like Matty in with just as much experience is really handy for us, particularly with such a young side.”
Wests Tigers Head Coach Jason Taylor has made a number of changes to the side that was defeated by Canterbury-Bankstown, with Lawrence finding himself in a new look forward pack alongside Aaron Woods, Ava Seumanufagai, Elijah Taylor and Josh Aloiai.
Having watched Taylor come in last week and lead the team with a game-high 50 tackles against the Bulldogs, Lawrence said the former Panther would only get better with time.
“He’s going to get better and better the more he plays with us,” Lawrence said of Taylor.
“He’s a player with so much talent and was always a handful when you played against him.”