We can beat anybody: Wests Tigers
They narrowly avoided the wooden spoon in 2015 but Wests Tigers back-rower Chris Lawrence believes the club can beat anyone in the NRL on their day.
The Wests Tigers have one of the youngest squads in the competition and Lawrence says the club's youth may work in their favour in 2016.
"As a playing group our focus has always been on footy but unfortunately we haven't been good enough to play semi-final footy," Lawrence said.
"We have shown we can match it and compete with the best sides but we have just been far too inconsistent to be anywhere close to being a semi final team.
"Given the bit more experience these younger guys have had, we can start to bridge the gap between our best and worst games and hopefully get enough wins to be there at the back end of the year.
"I have no doubt on our day that we can beat anyone but our problem has been getting ourselves in a good position."
Hailing the Tigers' signing of former New South Wales prop Tim Grant, Lawrence said players such as halves partners Luke Brooks and Mitch Moses will soon reach a point in their career where their experience will be validated.
"Given last year there was a lot of guys who played more than what they were expected will definitely help us this year. You have guys like Brooksy and Mitch Moses who have played 30 or 40 NRL games now," Lawrence said.
"Even others like Kyle Lovett and some of the younger forwards who managed a lot of game time [last year] and are only 21 or 22 years of age. That experience is going to be invaluable to them.
"With Tim Grant there now, in comes another experienced player. Considering the loss of Keith Galloway and Marty Taupau in our forwards he's going to be a really good addition for us."
Meanwhile, Lawrence is hopeful he'll be able to skipper the Tigers' Auckland Nines squad again in 2016.
"I enjoyed myself in particular being skipper last year, it was good fun in a different format so hopefully I'll be there," Lawrence said.
"Playing a different format, before you're back in the 13-man game, is a bit of fun and you get your fitness while you're at it.
"It's a freshen up, every side has been deep in pre-season training so you can have a bit of fun before the serious stuff starts."