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Prop Blake Lawrie has revealed that the Dragons have targeted a top-four finish as they aim for a second win against the Titans this season and insists they will continue to improve.

After triumphing 38-12 against the Dolphins at WIN Stadium last Saturday night, St George Illawarra are just one point behind fourth-placed Manly and would be higher on the ladder if not for a late fade out against the Broncos.

The Dragons conceded four tries in the last 10 minutes to crash 40-18 in Brisbane after leading 16-8 at halftime, and succumbed 40-8 to the Sharks a week later, but bounced back in impressive fashion against the Dolphins.

St George Illawarra won their first match of the season in Round 2, after being the first team to have a bye, with a 32-18 defeat of the Titans at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Match Highlights: Dragons v Titans

“Obviously, the last 10 minutes against Broncos was real disappointing, and the second half against the Sharks was disgraceful,” Lawrie said. “That’s not us and that’s not our standards.

“If we stick to our game plan, we can win games, because the Dolphins are no slouches in the competition. Their first four or five weeks had been outstanding.”

While the scoreline against the Dolphins was St George Illawarra’s biggest winning margin and the most points they have scored in two seasons, it was a victory built on defence.

Lawrie said the team needed to show the same resolve each week.

Every try from Round 5, 2023

“That is the minimum standard. We have more steps to go,” he said. “It's a good step in the right direction. It was a good convincing win and to keep them to 12 points, it was pretty convincing.

“You want to win every week and especially after our last two performances. If you get 40 put on you, you are not going to win any game and top four teams keep teams under 16 points. That’s what our goal is, and we want to be in the top four.”

Another win against the Titans after their seven-tries-to-two defeat of the Dolphins should help to ease speculation about the future of St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin and off contract players at the club.

However, Lawrie said the players had not been distracted by the “outside noise” and were focused on doing their jobs.

“I am just focused on doing my job, and ‘Hook’ is focused on doing his job,” Lawrie said. “If we keep doing that, then Hook will be here beyond the end of this year.

“That's what we want to do. We want to be top four, and it was a good step in the right direction only letting in 12 points.

“The responsibility is on the 17 players who take the jersey each week. Obviously ‘Hook’ puts a game plan in place, and we have to stick to it.

“We started the year pretty well, we had a really good game against Gold Coast, and had a good first 65 minutes against the Broncos, who are top of the table.

“It was us as players fault last week [against the Sharks]. We went out with the mentality of not wanting it bad enough, which is really disappointing.”

Lawrie is in rich try-scoring form

With the departures of experienced forwards Tariq Sims (Melbourne), Josh McGuire (Warrington) and Aaron Woods (Manly), Lawrie has taken it upon himself to lead the way up front for the Dragons.

The 26-year old Dapto Canaries junior made the most metres carrying the ball (154) and tackles (31) against the Dolphins, while also crossing for his second try of the season, and just the third in a 106-game NRL career.

“It took me 91 games to score one and I’ve scored three in the last 15 games but I just need to go out and do my job,” Lawrie said.

“If I do my job properly and win my physical battles, then hopefully the results take care of themselves.”

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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