Greig Laidlaw says Edinburgh can reach Heineken Cup semis again

Laidlaw shows his disappointment after defeat by Treviso
Laidlaw shows his disappointment after defeat by Treviso

Greig Laidlaw has shrugged off a shock defeat by Treviso, saying Edinburgh can at least match last year's march to the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup.

Losing 27-22 at home to the Italians in the Pro12 was far from ideal preparation before facing Saracens in their opening Heineken Cup group game.

"We never did our job right on Friday," said Scotland fly-half Laidlaw.

"If we do our job right [in the cup], there's no reason why we can't go back to where we got last year."

But Laidlaw acknowledges that Saturday's opening Pool 1 game at Murrayfield is crucial to their hopes, especially with a trip to face Munster in their second fixture.

Saracens' Charlie Hodgson on the charge during the win over London Welsh
Saracens' Charlie Hodgson on the charge during the win over London Welsh

"We had a tough pool last year, as we have this year, but as a team, it's one game at a time," Edinburgh's captain told BBC Scotland.

"It has to be like that in this format because, if you go out and lose your first two games, then you're all but out of the competition.

"First game up's huge. Second game, we're going to Thomond Park and you're not wanting to go there having to win.

"So it's all in this game. A big start to this competition and it's a challenge we're all looking forward to."

Laidlaw believes Edinburgh can build on the experience gained last season.

"We won a lot of tight games in the Heineken Cup pool stage," he said.

"It was good to manage these games and see them out.

"It helped a lot of the younger guys gain confidence.

"We've nothing to fear once again. We're going into this game looking forward to it and looking to play a brand of rugby that Edinburgh Rugby like to play."

Saracens will arrive in Scotland in good heart, sitting fourth in the English Premiership, two points behind leaders Northampton, after their 28-23 win away to London Welsh.

Edinburgh have only won two of their six Pro12 games and are ninth of the 12 teams, but Laidlaw believes results have not reflected the quality of their play.

"It was a long weekend," he said of the defeat that allowed Treviso to leapfrog his side in the table.

"There was a lot of thought about the game and how we played.

"But I truly believe the boys can turn up and do it right.

"And, if they do, we'll negate some of that threat from Saracens."

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