Catalan v Huddersfield Giants: Anderson unhappy at losing Lawrence for Dragons battle

Michael Lawrence.
Michael Lawrence.
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Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson is calling for consistency from the game’s governing body after losing Michael Lawrence for tonight’s trip to France.

The Giants centre misses the visit to Catalan Dragons after he was punished for a dangerous tackle on Bradford Bulls’ James Donaldson after just three minutes in last Sunday’s Super League meeting at Odsal.

The Huddersfield-born player – who has an unblemished disciplinary record – pleaded guilty to the tackle, but claimed at Tuesday night’s hearing that extra pressure on Donaldson’s neck was accidental and there was no intent to injure his opponent.

But the Rugby Football League tribunal judged there was “potential for serious injury” and handed out a one-match ban and £300 fine.

Now Anderson is demanding the RFL punish others who commit similar offences

“All I ask is for consistency,” said Anderson.

“Every tackle like Bruno’s should be an automatic one-match suspension. If you look at Michael’s in isolation, frame by frame by frame, you can make anything look dangerous.

“He did put him in a position, that’s why we pleaded guilty, but questioned the grading.

“I said to him, I hope he gives a few more penalties away because he’s too nice. He’s a good clean player, to be fair.

“To go 150 games with no history, he doesn’t even give penalties away, he’s that clean a player. Apparently that doesn’t count for anything.

“I just want consistency. Next one I see, and it’s not brought up on the match-review panel – not brought to tribunal – I will be ringing up to ask ‘what’s going on?’. If we are going to penalise every tackle like that, then I am happy.

“I think there’s a bigger problem in people knocking halves over after they have played the ball,” added Anderson, who could draft in Chris Bailey as a replacement.

The Giants flew out to Barcelona on Thurday – they travel back tomorrow – and despite their opponent’s winless start to 2014, Anderson is refusing to take their challenge lightly.

“Catalan away, regardless of performances and results, is always dangerous,” warned Anderson.

“It’s always a challenge, we have ordered the sun but I don’t think it’s going to get there in time It’s going to be a bit wet, isn’t it?

“It’s a very different environment, the food, language, all that sort of stuff.

“But, at the end of the day when we get on the field, we have to make sure we do what we do. Try to exploit some things that we have tried to pick upon.”

Huddersfield – who finished top of Super League last season – have only lost once this season, but two draws in five matches has hindered their initial points tally.

But Sunday’s 66-18 win at Bradford, showed they have plenty of attacking options and while Anderson admits there is plenty more to come from his team, he is happy with their start.

“We have done alright, we haven’t hit our straps yet. Performances haven’t been great, but we have only lost one game,” he said.