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Laidlaw: we need to up aggression levels against Blues

Guinness PRO12 Editor

30 Aug 2011

Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw maintains his side’s positive pre-season will count for nothing unless they win their opening RaboDirect Pro12 match against Cardiff Blues.



Laidlaw won the man-of-the-match award for his performance in the Gunners’ 20-17 defeat of Newcastle having also defeated Aviva Premiership side Sale Sharks.

But the scrum-half is only interested in chalking up Edinburgh’s first victory in the new-look RaboDirect Pro12 season after a slow start to their last campaign saw them lose their first three matches of the season.

That run began with a 34-23 defeat against the Blues and Laidlaw warned his teammates they will have to up their physicality levels from the victories over the Falcons and the Sharks.

He said: “Two wins from two is always good but I’d like to reiterate that these are only pre-season games and we need to now go on and win the first league game –  that’s the big one.

"It is no good winning the two preseason games and losing the first league game.

“Cardiff will bring a high level of physicality in the tackle and breakdown and have some good ball players who will challenge us with their attack.

“To combat that we’ll need to be aggressive when we carry the ball and will need to work together in our defensive systems.”

Laidlaw demonstrated both his versatility as well as his kicking prowess against Newcastle after being switched to full-back for the second half where he scored the match-winning penalty.

But being asked to take on the kicking responsibility in addition to the captaincy is not a role that fazes Laidlaw.

He said: “Me and Phil [Godman] had a kicking competition yesterday; I won so I decided I would kick tonight.

“The kick was between the ten metres and the halfway and was right in front of the posts so you shouldn’t miss those.

“I got chucked in at full-back for most of the second half which was interesting to say the least. I have never played full-back before but I think it went alright.

“I am a senior player in the team and I think they wanted to keep on the pitch and allow Alex Black a run tonight which is the right idea in a preseason game to see what he has got.

“I was just happy to stay on the pitch and was fortunate enough to kick a couple of goals towards the end.”