Season in Review: Chris Lawrence

With so much changing at Wests Tigers in the last five years, the man who has been there through it all delivered one of his finest seasons in memory in 2018.

Chris Lawrence finished second in the club’s Kelly-Barnes Award voting and could have gone close to challenging Luke Brooks had it not been for minor hand and hamstring injuries that picked up in the latter half of the season, forcing the veteran back rower to miss a handful of appearances for the side.

Despite that, the Eagle Vale St. Andrews junior still starred on the left edge throughout the year for Wests Tigers — playing 19 games and scoring seven tries, the most in a single season for him since 2011.

In doing so, Lawrence passed fellow Life Member Benji Marshall to become the club’s all-time top try-scorer, and will have his eyes set on reaching the 250-game for the club now in 2019 (currently on 227).

His combination with Brooks and Corey Thompson on the left edge was a real strength for the side in 2018, and will only improve again going forward with more time together at training. Moses Mbye’s arrival at the back showed that Ivan Cleary’s side will have another element to their attack next year, and if Lawrence can continue to stay injury free, there’s no reason why he can’t produce another season like 2018.

It comes with experience, but Lawrence again showed in 2018 the importance (and effectiveness) of having a level head in key moments. The back rower was often his side’s go-to-man in crucial points of games, helping Wests Tigers to several close wins throughout the year. It was his try that gave Wests Tigers a stunning 11-10 win over Melbourne in Auckland; it was his try that sealed the win in a 14-10 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 10. With his side looking to produce a comeback, it was his four-pointer against the Dragons in Round 23 that almost brought the home side back in to the lead, while in Round 24, his try off a Robbie Farah grubber sparked the run of points that kept their season alive. It’s all well and good to score tries, but just how key those moments were throughout the year is worth noting for Lawrence and just how important he is to this side going forward.

Off contract at the end of the season, “Rowdy” will have his eyes set on becoming just the second player in club history to reach the 250-game mark for the club with 23 more games required. If he does reach that mark, he’ll have had another injury-free season — something which he did in 2018 aside from those two minor knocks. Lawrence’s ability is unquestioned and his combination with Brooks is only getting better as the years go on, and if he can stay injury free again, the results will no doubt continue to come.

Wests Tigers all-time top try-scorer (currently 83 tries)

Nominated for Wests Tigers NRL Player of the Year (Kelly-Barnes) Award

Nominated for Wests Tigers NRL Players’ Player Award

Wests Tigers co-captain

He had his best year for the club since his dreadful injury and should be sole captain next year

What a season for a club champion. Give him the captaincy next year.

Should be eyeing an extension and 300 games

Have to be honest and, at the start of the year, thought he’d spend a big chunk of it in reserves.
Glad to be proved wrong….maybe nice guys don’t finish last.

I look at Luke Lewis playing until pension age and I hope rowdy does the same for us.

Well done on a great season Chris - look forward to you playing on for awhile with us.

I have to say that a couple of years ago I would never have thought he would turn it around. I always supported him to remain at the club, but often thought we needed better options. Now I am so happy to agree with others suggesting he be made captain and first choice weekly. In the games he was sidelined this season we clearly missed him.

Can’t praise him enough for standing up as he has this season - he deserves legend status at the Tigers!

Rowdy as sole captain for next season, please.

Absolute Champion Guy and already a Club Legend in my mind , hope he stays with us after his playing Days are up , that’s after at least 2 more seasons

What an absolute champion. I hope he goes on to be the first Tiger to 300 games for the club. MAKE HIM SOLE CAPTAIN!!!

We need more Rowdy’s in the team…heart and soul of the Wests Tigers…

Wasn’t sure on him being able to pump out a good eighty week on week coming into this season, but am well and truly convinced now. Sole captaincy should be his if he wants the job, which little doubt he would grab with both hands.


Rowdy as sole captain for next season, please.

Yup would like to see this too…… unless Ivan wants to appoint 6 new co captains.
Then we’ll really know he’s taking the piss
I also think he should play 13 aswell.

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