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posted in National Rugby League read more

Mommers can’t stop scoring.

posted in Contracts read more

I was a little disappointed one of our former captains and a whole-hearted veteran couldn’t get a mention last night.

posted in Contracts read more

@JoshColeman99 said in Signing Suggestions & Rumours:

AJ looking better every game. He’s fast and powerful really think he could lock down that left wing spot for us.

Showed some toe also. You’d love to know which position Madge thinks Talau and Kepaoa will be playing in 3 years.

posted in Season 2020 read more

3 Douehi
2 Lucy
1 Brooks

posted in Wests Tigers Discussion read more

“the coach says I can’t get pissed 3 times a week. I’m on eggshells!”

posted in Contracts read more

My daughter didn’t know me: The heartbreaking chapters of Chris Lawrence’s diary
By Michael Chammas

SEPTEMBER 26, 2020
From an Auckland hospital bed 19 months ago, an unrecognisable Chris Lawrence began logging the agonising details of his 100-day recovery following one of the most horrific injuries in the history of rugby league.

He broke his jaw, his nose, both eye sockets, both cheekbones. Even the broken bones had fractures through them. His palate had collapsed and his teeth had been dislodged. His face would never be the same. On Saturday, he will retire from rugby league. This is his diary.

Day 1: I don’t want to do this any more
No one at the club will forget the screams of agony that brought the Wests Tigers’ training run to a grinding halt before a trial game in New Zealand last year.

Lawrence’s face had caved in following a sickening collision with Ben Matulino, coughing up blood as he clutched for air.

“I thought, ‘nah, this is it, I don’t wan’t to do this any more’,” Lawrence wrote. “I don’t want to put my family through this every time I get injured or get surgery. I can’t keep doing this to them. For the first 10 to 15 minutes, all I was thinking was ‘this is it, I won’t play again’.”

Day 2: I was unrecognisable
Waiting for his wife Kathryn to land in New Zealand, Lawrence was struggling with blurry and double vision. He also hadn’t looked at himself in the mirror to see the damage.

“I can’t believe how swollen it is,” Lawrence wrote. "It looks like a balloon. Under my eyes are bruised already and I still have blood coming out of my nose. I can’t even feel it. I took my mind off it by texting a photo of myself to the boys and my family and friends, with some jokes about how bad I was looking.

Chris Lawrence in his hospital bed in New Zealand last February. He sent this photo to his friends and family.
Chris Lawrence in his hospital bed in New Zealand last February. He sent this photo to his friends and family.

“I decided not to send the photo to Kathryn in case she got upset by seeing me, I didn’t want her being stressed on the flight. However, before Kathryn got on the plane I spoke to her and warned her that she would get a shock once she saw me, that I was nearly unrecognisable. When she walked into the room by herself, as soon as she saw me she started crying. It made me really upset seeing her like that as I did not want her to have to see me looking like that or in pain.”

Day 8: Flying home to Emme
After a week in hospital, Lawrence was given the all clear to fly home. That morning he woke at 3am with a lot of pain coming from his mouth and teeth. But of far greater concern was a warning from doctors that the air pressure could dislodge his eyeball.

“I had to give myself a double dose of painkillers just so I could sleep,” Lawrence wrote. “I was a bit anxious about flying, not only because of the pain I could be in on the flight but more because of the risk of losing the sight out of my eye. I know it was only a small risk but it was still in the back of my mind.”

When he landed, the only thing on his mind was his daughter, Emme, and how she would react seeing her father in the condition he was in.

“I was a bit anxious whether Emme would recognise me,” Lawrence wrote. "As soon as I walked in the door she looked and started running straight to Kathryn and hugged her legs.

Chris Lawrence was heartbroken when he returned home from New Zealand and his daughter Emme didn’t recognise him.

“She then looked up at me and wasn’t really sure who I was. Eventually she threw her arms up. It was great to pick her up and hug her after being away for so long. She knew something wasn’t right because she just stared at my face and played with my beard. I don’t think she thought it was me.”

Day 12: Under the knife
Lawrence underwent a six-hour surgery to begin repairing the damage to his face, which the surgeons at Norwest Private Hospital described as a jigsaw puzzle. The surgeons cut under both eyelids and inside the mouth, inserting seven plates to hold his crumbled face together.

“I was already in a lot of pain,” Lawrence wrote. "Straight away they topped me up with morphine. However, just like when I first did the injury, it made me feel very nauseous and sick in the stomach.

"As I waited for the nurses to give me medication to stop the nausea, I had to really concentrate to breathe properly through my mouth because I was already struggling to breathe.

“I knew if I started vomiting it would make things a whole lot worse. I started getting a flood of memories back from when I was sitting on the field waiting for the ambulance to come.”

Day 16: Tigers’ first game of the season
For the first 15 days following the injury, Lawrence was unfazed about the fact he wouldn’t feature in the Wests Tigers’ first game of the season.

But that changed as he watched his teammates run on to Leichhardt Oval to open their season against the Manly Sea Eagles.

“I have to say, the closer it got to game time the more depressed I got,” he wrote. “As the boys ran out it started to hit me that the season was starting and I would not be back taking part for a long time. With about 10 minutes to go, Robbie went over for his second try and we had wrapped the game up by that point.”

“As happy as I was that we were going to get the win, seeing all the boys running in and congratulating Robbie really made me jealous. It’s what you play footy for, celebrating the triumphs with your teammates who you work so hard with all pre-season. I really felt like I was missing out, like I should have been there in that moment.”

Day 25: I may never look the same again
Lawrence was booked in to see the dentist, excited that he would likely take a giant step towards fixing his teeth, which had been giving him plenty of grief throughout his recovery. However, the damage was so severe, and the swelling so bad, the dentist referred Lawrence to a maxillofacial surgeon.

“I just wanted my face to be fixed and look normal again,” Lawrence wrote. "I’m having to deal not only with the injury but the possibility that my face may never look the same again. It almost feels like I have lost my identity. I look completely different and have no idea or guarantees if or when this will come back.

“That is really playing on my mind. I don’t want to go out in public because of the way I am looking. Kathryn has been amazing though. I know she would be doing it tough but she hasn’t shown it. She has been there for me every single day.”

Day 31: Heading to the game
The day of the Tigers’ round three clash against the Bulldogs, Lawrence had all but talked himself out of going to watch for the first time. His paranoia and embarrassment about his face, and the fact he had lost 13 kilograms during the ordeal, was a cause of great anxiety.

“I just didn’t want to have to face anyone and answer any questions. I was just very self-conscious,” he wrote. “When I got out of the car, I put my head down and walked straight into the sheds and I didn’t want anyone to see me. I basically stayed in the sheds until kick-off. Once the boys ran out, I snuck into the first few rows in the grandstand where no one would see me.”

Day 33: The blood clots
Even after a month, Lawrence struggled for air. But one particular session with then-Tigers physiotherapist Pete Moussa offered unexpected hope.

“Pete started some physio on me and I saw an instant improvement in my face,” Lawrence wrote. “I even had my sinuses cleared and coughed up some old blood clots. Finally I could breathe properly for the first time.”

Day 61: Light at the end of the tunnel
Two months on from his horrific injury, Lawrence was given the news he’d been waiting for.

“I saw the surgeon today,” he wrote. “I was excited to get the green light to play after week 12. I spoke to Moose and told him everything, and we would map out my my plan once I got back to training. We did that and then came up with round 13 as my return date. I finally had a target and light at the end of the tunnel.”

Day 83: First contact session
Chris Lawrence arrives at Bankwest Stadium for his first game of 2019 following his facial injury in the pre-season.

“We had wrestle and contact this morning and it was my first go at full contact so I was a bit apprehensive,” Lawrence wrote. “I surprised myself how easily I settled into it. Once I got the first tackle out of the way I was fine and had the confidence to go in hard, which I thought would take a while to come back. Just like riding a bike.”

Day 96: Team selection day
“I was so nervous about going into training today because I knew I had been cleared to play this weekend, but didn’t know whether I would play reserve grade or first grade,” Lawrence wrote. “Madge pulled me into his office in the morning and asked whether I was ready to go. I said ‘I’m ready’. He told me I was straight into first grade on the bench.”

Day 100: Game day
After 100 days of tears and tantrums, Lawrence would finally return to the football field, albeit looking different to the player who last walked out on to the field. A concussion to teammate Mahe Fonua saw Lawrence thrown into the action after just 10 minutes.

“My first run I told myself I am going to run as straight and as hard as I can,” Lawrence wrote. "There was no point dipping my toe in, I just have to jump in. We ended up getting flogged and I didn’t play well at all. However, I was just proud of myself that I made it back and got through the game.

“I got a bit emotional after the game. I don’t know what it was, but I think everything has just been building up. It has been a long journey but it is good to be back.”

posted in Season 2020 read more

@stevied said in The Way Coaches Carry Themselves:

I wonder if the two coaches’, particularly Holbrook’s personality are significant factors in their team’s recent success.

IMHO, Newcs are the worst team for being hot and cold this year. Not the sign of a great coach.

posted in Contracts read more

@JoshColeman99 said in Signing Suggestions & Rumours:

Sounds like manly have signed Foran too… to play Hooker. That won’t end well

I look forward to watching it.

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@Newtown said in Signing Suggestions & Rumours:

The Mole: Wendell Sailor rips Dragons over son Tristan’s axing
By The Mole

NRL legend Wendell Sailor has slammed the Dragons after his son Tristan was told he was not part of the club’s plans for next year.

Yeah, that will make him more appealing to a new club.

posted in Wests Tigers Discussion read more

@JD-Tiger said in Tigers should be heavyweights:

But we are rebuilding the strategy. We are investing mostly in youth, all across the squad. Reynolds and Packer don’t count, we know buying them was mistakes.

But we do need Tamou now, without him (and without Packer who is not a regular starter in our First Grade side) our oldest forward is like 24 yrs old! We need at least one experienced forward, the rest can be young, that’s fine.

Yeah, it’s a strange time to be hammering us for signing oldies. Besides Tamou, the purchases are firmly aimed at youngsters at the mo, and we are just about to punt a bunch of veterans.