Lawrence's switch successful

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Lawrence's switch successful
IAN MCCULLOUGH
July 11, 2010

WESTS Tigers centre Chris Lawrence admits he has found the switch to five-eighth difficult despite helping the team to two successive NRL victories.

Lawrence, who was called into the NSW State of Origin squad as 18th man during the week, has been in fine form this season in the centres, but injuries to Tim Moltzen and Robert Lui forced coach Tim Sheens into moving the 21-year-old into the halves for the last two games.

The youngster has been compared to former NSW great Laurie Daley by Sheens, but Lawrence said he was still getting to grips with the position.

''It's all right playing there, but I am still finding my feet and there is still a lot to learn and at times I get a bit lost out there but I am slowly improving each week,'' Lawrence said. ''I am not sure what the plans are next week, but if I get the chance to play there again I am sure I will keep improving.''

Lawrence linked well on occasions with Benji Marshall, who moved into the halfback role, for the Tigers' narrow 15-14 win over the Gold Coast at Campbelltown on Friday night. Although Lawrence felt more comfortable at centre, he believed the move would make him a better player. ''I like different aspects of both positions and because I have played more at centre I am comfortable there, but I enjoy having the ball in my hands more at five-eighth and the experience of playing another position will improve my game,'' Lawrence said.

Marshall's stunning 50-metre field goal on the stroke of half-time proved to be the difference between the two sides and Lawrence said he had the perfect view of the New Zealander's towering kick.

''At training he misses them from 10 metres in front of the posts and it just shows the talent he has got to kick that over under pressure,'' he said. ''As soon as he kicked it I knew it was good.''

The Tigers players have been controversially overlooked by NSW selectors this year, but Lawrence said being invited to join the squad for the 23-18 defeat to the Maroons at ANZ Stadium gave him hope for the future.

''It was good to get a bit of experience and see what it is all about and know that I am in the mix and in their thoughts for next year,'' he said. ''I had a bit of a talk with Craig Bellamy and he said I was close to being called up this year but I just need to work on parts of my game and become more consistent.''
 

king_sirro

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Anyone notice the ease in which Lawrence kicked? He only did it once but sometimes u can just tell when a player has great timing when kicking and he looked like he had it, it was a lovely kick. Would be great to see him play fullback where ALL his skills would be used.
 

ron_burgandy

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1) it is far from successful
2) bellamy is a twit if he thinks lawrence has things to work on yet players like scott ,monaghan jennings idris and morris dont.
3) i seriously hope he isnt perminatley moved there our attack sufferes badly not just because he is there but also that marshall has to move to 7….. scoring 16 points a game isnt going to be good enough at the back end of the season
 
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He won't be permanently moved there ron. Once Lui and Moltzen are fit again it will be back to the centres for Chris. I still think it would be beneficial for the Tigers backline to give Nichols a go at half. Cool head on his shoulders and throws a good pass which is what Marshall needs.
 

Sabre

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For me its not whether Lawrence makes a good 6 or not.
Its where does that leave Benji? because benji is obviously a bettr 6 than lawrence, and a better 6 than 7.
And also what about Moltzen, if Benji moves to 7 does that mean Moltz has to go back to fullback.
And if thts the case then what about Mullaney, McKinnon and Meaney?

Its to much of a reshuffle for one player who is an excellent centre and doesn't need to be moved anywhere.
 

mike

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I think the question is Benj's switch successful?

The answer for me is no. He needs the extra space at 5/8\. Although sometimes he still playes out wide with the no. 7 on his back it seems more contrived/forced than his natural game.
 

tiger05

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I think he is a better centre than 5/8\. I would also like to see him at fullback.
 

izotope

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i hope sheens is just throwing it out there as a future option for injuries etc.
 

Balmain_Tiger

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for someone who hasnt played in the halves since he was 17 he sure seems to handle it well…if we can get a decent centre who can do what chris does i would be all for him playing a half/ 5/8 role in the team...
 

G_Strombolli

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@izotope said:
i hope sheens is just throwing it out there as a future option for injuries etc.

Me too - and I'd say that's the case.

The article's title is odd. Lawrence's switch wasn't a failure - does that constitute success? Getting Chris more ball can only be a good thing and his running game looked sharp. But that's expected. He was hardly creating play in the traditional sense and when he tried it often didn't work.
 

supercoach

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@willow said:
He won't be permanently moved there ron. Once Lui and Moltzen are fit again it will be back to the centres for Chris. I still think it would be beneficial for the Tigers backline to give Nichols a go at half. Cool head on his shoulders and throws a good pass which is what Marshall needs.

Iam also a Nichol fan,good football brain,good defender,competitive little bugger and can throw a pass. Although I think it is now to late in the season to be blooding a rookie. maybe if we get on a streak we could give him some bench time but other wise I think Sheens will continue with the Rowdy experiment
 

system

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Sheens doesn't think Nicholls is a viable option anyway so he will just have to be content with where he is this year and, like the rest of the BRET squad this year seem to be doing, sorting through NRL contract offers from other clubs
 

fainty

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It's good to have options there, but he is definatley better at centre. He is such a great hole runner and tackle buster when he ges it out wide. Prince struggled to conatin him when he ran it on the left edge and he almost broke through on several occasions.
 
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