Untroubled by a broken hand, Canterbury centre Tim Lafai pushed through the pain barrier to score his first hat-trick of tries in the NRL last week. Lafai broke his hand at training earlier last week but played on, starring in Canterbury’s 38-6 win against St George Illawarra on Sunday. He looked untroubled on his way to a genuine hat-trick, scoring three consecutive tries for his team in a 20-minute spree. Lafai broke his hand during a contact session. “Doing contact stuff here is pretty full on,” Lafai said. “[Coach] Dessie [Hasler] likes us getting in there. I copped a knock and it started getting sore. It felt like a bruise more than a break. It’s the smallest break. You can hardly see it. It’s all good. “It’s heaps better than what it was. Next week it should be all good. It still gets sore. I’ll manage.” It’s Lafai’s second break of the season, after missing the first two weeks of the competition when he hurt his other hand. That break happened in Canterbury’s trial loss to South Sydney, and he managed to play on with the injury for about 10 minutes. “Luckily it hasn’t been anything too major compared to what I’m used to with my shoulders,” Lafai said in reference to the injuries which halted the start of his career. “It wasn’t that painful. When you’re playing the adrenaline gets you going until after the game you’re like ‘ohhh’. Not much I can do, I just have to strap it and keep the guard on.” Lafai didn’t seek a pain-killing injection to play against the Dragons. “No needles,’ Lafai said. “I don’t like needles. If they say I need a needle I’m like ‘nah, nah’ I’ll put up with the pain.” The 22-year cemented himself as a starting centre for Canterbury this season and has kept his place in the top squad, relegating Kiwi international Krisnan Inu to NSW Cup. Lafai was rewarded with a three-year contract extension earlier this year. “I must be doing something right to keep a player like Inu in NSW Cup,” Lafai said. “I’ve got to keep proving to Dessie that I am worthy to keep my spot in first grade. I’m pretty happy with my form. Dessie wants consistency in my game. I’ve done well to keep my spot. [I’ve got to] get involved and defence is a massive thing for myself and Dessie. That’s what I’ve ben trying to work on – my defence and getting my carries up.” Meanwhile, fullback Sam Perrett expects a warm welcome when he returns to his roots in New Zealand, with the Bulldogs switching their home game from Sydney to Waikato Stadium against the Warriors on Sunday. “I’ve got the in-laws, a few uncles and there are always some new relatives I meet,” Perrett said. “I’ve asked for about 20 [tickets] and then we work out it from there. There is always a bit of a fight between the Kiwi boys – Frankie [Pritchard] and Greggy [Eastwood]. Frankie [who is injured] is the worst. He is still making the trip across so I think he’ll be getting a hand on a bunch [of tickets].”
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