Lawrence tipped to shine

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Lawrence tipped to shine
01/07/2010 2:45 PM
Steve Orme
Sportal

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens believes young-gun Chris Lawrence has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Blues great Laurie Daley after naming the star centre at five-eighth ahead of Friday's clash against Brisbane.

Lawrence, who was controversially overlooked for Origin III despite being widely tipped to make his NSW debut in the centres, will partner Benji Marshall in the halves for the first time this weekend.

With Blues skipper Trent Barrett almost certain to walk away from the representative scene at the end of the current series, the clamour for his No.6 jumper has already begun.

And the Tigers coach has handed 21-year-old Lawrence - already a veteran of 79 first-grad games - the perfect chance to showcase his skills and hopefully catch the eye of NSW selectors for next season.

"We've sort of had that in the back of our minds for the last 18 months to two years but we've given Chrissy a chance to find his feet in the centres in the NRL," Tigers assistant coach Peter Gentle said on Thursday.

"And now he's missed his State of Origin jumper for the centres … it's a good opportunity to show the selectors he can also play (at) six."

"He's only young and he's taken it (his non-selection) well and he's going to go out there to show selectors he hasn't dropped his bundle and he's still ready to play."

"Tim likens him to Laurie Daley. NSW is crying out for a No.6 and Trent Barrett (could be) retiring so it's a good opportunity for Chris for the rest of the year, or for the next few weeks anyway, to show what he's got at six."

"And we're very confident ... he'll handle it real well."

The continued absence of half-back Robert Lui means Marshall will wear the No.7 jersey for the second straight week, with Geoff Daniela moving into the centres to cover for Lawrence.

Meanwhile, Tigers skipper Robbie Farah insists he and his fellow high-profile team-mates have 'no point to prove' after again being overlooked for Origin.

"We're obviously all disappointed not being there," Farah conceded in reference to fellow Blues hopefuls Chris Heighington and Lawrence as well as Queensland veteran Lote Tuqiri.

"I thought we were a fair chance, especially the two Chris's ... I know they're disappointed as I am so I guess all we can do now is keep playing good footy here and try to prove people wrong by winning footy games."

"We've been playing decent footy and we'll just look to keep doing it. State of Origin's gone this year for us now so we've just got to focus on our season here at the Tigers and making sure we're there come semi-finals time."

Asked to rate his chances of an Origin recall next season, a confused Farah replied: "Hopefully come next year I'm playing good footy and if I am I'd like to think I'm still a chance, although this year I thought I was playing decent footy and they didn't pick me. I'm not too sure what they're thinking or whether I'm in their plans or not."

Meanwhile, the skipper is adamant complacency won't be a factor against a Broncos side missing Origin stars Darren Lockyer, Israel Folau and Sam Thaiday on Friday night.

"We've had a look at them and they're still a pretty decent side and the last time they played without their Origin players they put 50 past Souths, so we know it's not going to be an easy game by any means," he said.
 

king_sirro

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The difference between Daley moving from the centres to 6 is that he had a geniune organiser inside him who was relentless with his talk and playmaking. Lawrence doesnt have that luxury with Benji inside him, and i really cant see him being more effective at 6 than he is at 4.
 

Bazzinator

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so maybe we will see more of this with rowdy in the halves. if only benji could adapt his game to a first reciever. also shows that they have faith in daniela as a centre
 

Centaur

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I don't understand how it can be long term with so many other options in the halves. Has to be a fluff piece.
 

Alf_Duguid

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I remember when Chris tore Melbourne a new one up in Gosford a few years back. He's got the potential to play well there but hopefully its only a short term move
 

Tiger_Watto

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As I wrote in another threat, why move Chris after possibly his best game all year?

Either way, I hope he has a blinder and does shine as Chris is a very well liked and sensible kid for his age.

Good luck Chris.
 

MGB

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I couldn't even follow Benji last week, one minute he is first receiver then second, then he is beside Lote on first tackle trying po put him away down the sideline, defensively he was all over the place.
Benji and Robbie have been playing a lot of 7 this year, and last for that matter. I don't see how it can be a great option for Lawrence given it means more of the same from Benji. We just need a good reliable halfback so Benji can play his natural position, same as Farah. If both these weapons could play their natural games we would be a much more successful side.
 

Balmain_Tiger

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@MGB said:
I couldn't even follow Benji last week, one minute he is first receiver then second, then he is beside Lote on first tackle trying po put him away down the sideline, defensively he was all over the place.
Benji and Robbie have been playing a lot of 7 this year, and last for that matter. I don't see how it can be a great option for Lawrence given it means more of the same from Benji. We just need a good reliable halfback so Benji can play his natural position, same as Farah. If both these weapons could play their natural games we would be a much more successful side.

just let benji, farah and lawrence get into the halves whenever they feel there is an opportunity. forget the numbers on their back.
 

izotope

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@MGB said:
I couldn't even follow Benji last week, one minute he is first receiver then second, then he is beside Lote on first tackle trying po put him away down the sideline, defensively he was all over the place.
Benji and Robbie have been playing a lot of 7 this year, and last for that matter. I don't see how it can be a great option for Lawrence given it means more of the same from Benji. We just need a good reliable halfback so Benji can play his natural position, same as Farah. If both these weapons could play their natural games we would be a much more successful side.

lui/molzten :frowning:

first time since 05 we actually have 2 halfbacks (i feel lui is capable of HB even though some tote him as a 5/8) and they both are injured!

I found with Marshall when lui's been playing he would play the first 10 or 15 as 1st reciever then shift out wide.. last few games as u said its anyones guess in a set where he will be
 

barra

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"Tim likens him to Laurie Daley. NSW is crying out for a No.6 and Trent Barrett (could be) retiring so it's a good opportunity for Chris **for the rest of the year, or for the next few weeks anyway,** to show what he's got at six."
quote]

Oh dear…
 

stryker

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Likens him to Snoz Daley? In their dreams! Lozza was a freak player, one of the very best in his position.

All that Sheens has accomplished here is that he has weakened three positions and strengthened none. The Broncs mustn't believe their luck….
 

Jazza

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@barra said:
"Tim likens him to Laurie Daley. NSW is crying out for a No.6 and Trent Barrett (could be) retiring so it's a good opportunity for Chris **for the rest of the year, or for the next few weeks anyway,** to show what he's got at six."
quote]

Oh dear…

Oh dear God, not only that it means that Benji is going to stay at 7.
 
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Wests Tigers switch Chris Lawrence to five-eighth for clash against Broncos
By Christian Nicolussi From: The Daily Telegraph July 02, 2010 12:00AM

TIGERS coach Tim Sheens has dubbed him the new Laurie Daley and tonight Chris Lawrence gets the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Kangaroos legend.

Twenty years ago Sheens converted Daley from a centre into one of the world's greatest five-eighths.

Now he has taken the same punt on lightning-fast Lawrence to become a world- class No. 6.

Lawrence will partner Benji Marshall in the halves for the first time in what could prove to be a coaching masterstroke by Sheens. Either that or one of the season's biggest tactical blunders.

Such is the hype surrounding Lawrence that Tigers assistant coach Peter Gentle said the 21-year-old could be a ready-made replacement for NSW No. 6 Trent Barrett.

"Tim likens him to Laurie Daley," Gentle said.

"NSW is crying out for a five-eighth, Trent Barrett is retiring, so it's a good opportunity for Chris over the next few weeks to show what he's got at six and we're very confident.

"Now that he's missed his Origin jumper for the centres - only just - it's a good opportunity to show the selectors he can also play six."

Sheens was more reserved in his assessment of Lawrence, saying he had not decided if the move would be permanent.

"Chris has played at six for us before and he filled in against Melbourne at Bluetongue [Stadium] a couple of seasons ago in a game we won," Sheens said.

"I think he can play there, but whether it's permanent will be up to Chris.

"He's a good talker and has all the skills that people are yet to see.

"He's got a lot more than just his running game that people know him for.

"I'm not going to make any predictions, but I think he'll handle it."

Sheens said Lawrence and Marshall had worked well all week and the rapport between the two was already good.

Only a fortnight ago Sheens pushed for Lawrence to be selected in the centres for the Blues.

The chance to experiment with Lawrence at No. 6 arose because of the injury to halfback Robert Lui.

Daley predicted Lawrence would be an immediate success in his new position.

"I think Chris Lawrence is a fine player and if Tim thinks he can play five-eighth, I'm going to back him," Daley said.

"Tim has a great knowledge of every position, and if Chris is ever going to play five-eighth it will be under Tim."

Sadly for the Tigers, they have a horrible record against the Broncos.

They have won just three of the 17 games between the two teams, the most recent in round 21, 2006.

Sheens' deputy Royce Simmons only returned from England on Wednesday after being interviewed for the coaching position at St Helens.

Simmons, who has worked with Sheens since 2003, is expected to learn next week if he will replace outgoing coach Mick Potter.
 

BeeJay

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Anyoe know if he has a kicking game? He can set up his outside man with an ok passing game, but it's the kicking from the team that has been left wanting lately.
 

Properossi

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I saw Sirro kicking the ball on the Footy Show last night, maybe he can give the boys some tips?
 

Cultured_Bogan

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@barra said:
"Tim likens him to Laurie Daley. NSW is crying out for a No.6 and Trent Barrett (could be) retiring so it's a good opportunity for Chris **for the rest of the year, or for the next few weeks anyway,** to show what he's got at six."
quote]

Oh dear…

My sentiments exactly…

I love that quote "Tim likens him to Laurie Daley"... So he's a brain dead meat muppet who will go on to fulfill a terribly unsuccessful career as a Fox commentator and NSW selector.

Rowdy's much too smart to be compared with Daley. :laughing:
 

softlaw

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none of which changes the fact that this means Marshall goes to 7 and he is an absolutely terrible 7 who takes wrong options regularly and needs the extra space of second receiver.
the line 6 & 7 are interchangeable these days is rubbish. Marshall puts the 7 on his back and mentally becomes a completely different player.
This is stupid for the team because Benji does not work at 7!
 

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