Saints star Lawes hungry for more scores after ending drought

It was a quite remarkable statistic for someone who is as hard to stop as Courtney Lawes.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 7:00 am
Courtney Lawes is looking forward to an exciting few weeks for Saints (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Last Sunday, the England lock scored his first Saints try since September 2012.

A total of 73 games had come and gone without Lawes making his way across the whitewash.

But on Sunday, that barren run ended as he popped up for a simple effort, making the most of his team’s forward power.

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Lawes had that trademark smile on his face after the game, and it was no surprise, considering he had registered his fourth try in 167 Northampton appearances in a vital 29-23 victory against Harlequins.

So just how did he explain the fact that a man of his imposing size and strength had not managed to dot down for so long?

“It’s been a while and I don’t know what’s happened to me,” Lawes said. “I think I’ve concentrated too much on my hitting.

“It’s good to get a try at home in my first game back.”

As Lawes alludes to, it was his first match since injuring his ankle in the win at Saracens on March 5.

He was actually supposed to be on the bench against Quins, but Christian Day’s late withdrawal through injury saw the England man thrown in.

And he said: “I was obviously supposed to be on the bench, but luckily I managed to start.

“I’ve got a bit of a cold, a stiff ankle, but I did alright.

“The ankle was pretty stiff after half-time, pretty hard to move out there, but it will get better.

“It’s only been three weeks since I did it so it’s good to get that kind of turnaround and be around for the end of the season.”

And how happy Saints were to have Lawes asserting his authority on Quins.

He set up Alex Waller’s try before scoring with that long-awaited effort and he generally put himself about, proving a menace at times.

Saints know they need all of their big guns firing now, with crucial league games against Wasps and Leicester Tigers coming either side of a Champions Cup quarter-final at Saracens.

And a fully-fit Lawes will be a big boost for Jim Mallinder’s men.

“The ankle is not the best thing to injure with the amount of running you do, but I’ll get on with it and make sure my recovery is where it should be,” Lawes said.

“Hopefully I’ll stay fit for the final weeks of the season.

“There are some great games, some real tests for us and it’s really exciting.

“We’ll see exactly where we are.”

Saints’ bonus-point win against Quins lifted them back into the top four, one point ahead of Leicester.

And Lawes said: “It’s now in our hands, isn’t it? We can stay there or drop out of it.

“The boys are determined to stay in this top four and make sure we’ve got a shot at the finals.”

And could Lawes get on a little try-scoring streak in the final weeks of the season?

“Hopefully, mate,” he said.

“A little run would be very nice.”

And so say everyone at Saints.