Lawrie concedes Flanagan could easily have axed him

A brutally honest Blake Lawrie has conceded he could rightfully have been axed by Shane Flanagan, labelling his own early-season form at St George Illawarra as "s***house".

The Dragons' player of the year last season, Lawrie is the first to admit he has endured a below-par start to 2024 for the inconsistent Red V.

That had prompted reports last week that the 27-year-old could be axed for Sunday's game against the Tigers.

Lawrie was ultimately spared and instead relegated from the starting side to the bench, but the prop admitted Shane Flanagan was within his rights to drop him.

"I was playing terribly so I wouldn't have blamed Flanno at all," Lawrie said after Sunday's 24-12 win over the Tigers.

"I know I wasn't playing well, and whatever happened would have happened.

"He just said, 'fix your game'. And I know I wasn't playing up to my standard, the team's standard or his standard that he expects.

"I just have to go out there and ensure that Flanno trusts me to do a job. And it's going to be week by week until I regain that trust."

After entering this season the fittest and strongest he has ever been, Lawrie is scathing about his own start to the year.

With reduced minutes, the Wollongong junior's run numbers are down.

But it is the six errors he has made in the opening six matches that stand out, given he made the same amount across 67 games in 2021, 2022 and 2023 combined.

Asked how he thought his past weeks had been, Lawrie was blunt.

"Honestly, it's been s***house," he said.

"I haven't been happy with it.

"It's about bouncing back. I know I am going to have bad games, but just happened to have a month of bad footy.

"I'll keep reviewing myself. I am honest with myself. I'll stand myself in the mirror and be able to get better."

Regardless, Lawrie said he was not concerned about his ability to turn his form around, after being among the NRL's best front-rowers this year.

The Dragons need him to stand up on Friday night against the Warriors in Wollongong, with Addin Fonua-Blake leading one of the form packs in the NRL.

"I've been through poor form and I've come out the other side and hopefully I come out the other side of this one too," Lawrie said.

"If you get in that negative mindset, it can spiral down pretty quickly. If you're always thinking why am I not playing well, you'll continue not playing well.

"I've played 100-plus NRL games now. I know what I need to do to get my body right.

"I'll continue to work hard and be consistent on the training paddock and on days off to keep stacking the odds in my favour, and the tables will turn for me."

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