Laidlaw: I can get us scoring tries
February 6, 2012
Greig Laidlaw believed he had scored a potentially match-winning try against England on Saturday © Getty Images
Scotland fly-half Greig Laidlaw has backed himself to unleash his side's scoring potential after seeing another game go by without a Scottish try.
Laidlaw very nearly did just that in Saturday's 13-6 loss to England, only for the television match official to rule the Edinburgh captain, on at fly-half for Dan Parks, did not get downward pressure. The 26-year-old won his third cap after leading Edinburgh into the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup and could be given a first Test start if Scotland head coach Andy Robinson opts against retaining Parks in Cardiff.
Laidlaw said: "I was quite happy with how I played when I came on. I injected a bit of speed into the game and we definitely made some chances when I was on the field. I'm quite happy with that. Whether that's enough, time will tell. It's the first game of the championship, so we can't get too excited or too downbeat.
"We created a lot of chances. Next week going forward it's about taking the step over the line and scoring a try."
Parks kicked Scotland into a 6-3 half-time lead with two penalties, but often kicked possession away in the first period. Moments into the second half he delayed over a clearance kick and Charlie Hodgson pounced for the decisive score.
Asked about the selection of Parks and scrum-half Chris Cusiter ahead of Edinburgh duo Laidlaw and Mike Blair, Robinson said: "I'm not here to pull apart players."
Laidlaw, who won his first two caps as a replacement scrum-half, was not about to twist the knife and knows, as fly-half, he could suffer the same fate as Parks. Laidlaw added: "He will be pretty gutted about it. That happens at stand-off, you're in the firing line.
"The ruck before slowed down a bit, there was a lot of pressure coming through on him and stand-offs sometimes get their kicks charged down. It happens."
Laidlaw almost saved the day, reaching the ball ahead of Ben Youngs with an outstretched arm, but not with a strong enough touch for the television match official. He added: "I definitely got my hand to it. I felt I got a good touch on it and there was some downward pressure there, I felt I controlled the ball at one point."
Laidlaw has been key to Edinburgh's performances this term, whether at scrum-half, fly-half or switching half-back roles midway through a match. He believes he has shown he has the game-management to deliver at Test level and help Scotland end their four-match run without a try.
He added: "With Edinburgh we throw the ball about, but we don't just play Barbarians style. We kick, we pressurise teams, we're pretty direct. We (Scotland) are not far off. We just need to hold some composure and get over the line, hold that little bit more depth and just hold onto the ball at crucial times. Hopefully next week it will come together."
And Scotland have dropped outside the world's top 10 following their defeat against England on Saturday. The Scots' 13-6 loss relegated them one place to 11th, swapping positions with Samoa in the latest International Rugby Board rankings list.
England stay fifth, but Wales have climbed two places to sixth as a result of yesterday's thrilling 23-21 victory over Ireland in Dublin, with the Irish falling to eighth. Six Nations title favourites France, conquerors of Italy two days ago, remain third behind world champions and runaway leaders New Zealand, while Australia lie second.
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