Press Pass: Lawrie on Scarlets
Get the latest from Assistant Forwards Coach Stevie Lawrie as he spoke with press ahead of Saturday's crucial Guinness PRO14 match-up with Scarlets at BT Murrayfield.
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On a 'must-win' game against Scarlets this Saturday
“We looked at this block of games, and given Munster are also in our group, it’s important that we go forward to Scarlets - and if we want to qualify for Europe, then these are the games.
“It’s almost double points, isn’t it? People always say that, but it’s an extremely important game and we need to take confidence into it.
"We know that we’re at home, we’ve done well against Scarlets previously when we’ve played Edinburgh Rugby’s way, so for us it’s a massively important game and it’s important that we have a week’s training that improves on Munster and make sure that we’re absolutely on point for this weekend.
"Because there’s no hiding from it, it’s a very important game for our aspirations for next season.”
On the next two games being regarded as 'winnable'
“For us, every single game is. Even reflecting on the weekend, we had our opportunities and we lacked a little bit of a clinical edge at times when we were in the right zones to score. And we put ourselves under pressure through some of our set piece at times.
“So even looking at the Irish teams, they’re games that we’re competitive in - and at the minute, for various reasons, we’re not getting over the line.
"I think Scarlets are another team that won handsomely at the weekend so will be coming here with confidence, so it’s important that we put our best foot forward. We need to be picking up points in these games, for sure.”
On any players returning from Scotland camp
“From our point of view, we are waiting until tomorrow (Wednesday) for that decision. The situation is fluid just now so we need to see how that one plays out.
“We’ve obviously planned on not getting anybody back, as you always do, and various combinations which might happen if people are released as per the game getting played this weekend. So, we’ll just have to wait and see on that one, unfortunately.
On the team's recent set-piece struggles
“It is about working hard on it. It is all very well saying Edinburgh are good up front but it only takes one performance to change a perception.
“So, for me, we get back to doing what we do really well. Obviously, we had some issues at scrum time, so we’ll reflect on it, we have reflected on it heavily today, and we’ll have a really good day tomorrow making sure that we get it right.
“The players have spoken honestly about it this week. It is an area that you have to have dominance in so you can play the other parts of your game, and there was just a few too many penalties in that area.
“It is the same with line-out defence, these parts of the game need to function so you can do other parts, so it is hugely important. We need to make sure that we show a really positive perception this week and get back to what Edinburgh Rugby do well.”
On Nick Haining's re-signing
“It's hugely important that we've retained Nick. He arrived from Bristol two seasons ago and he has impressed massively. We’ve seen him improve his game, and that’s been rewarded at national level.
“He’s a really important player for the club as well. He’s a dynamic ball-carrier - I think he brings a point of difference in that. He’s got good feet and he beats defenders that way, which is important given how organised defences are.
“He’s a good lineout forward. He gives us options across that back row. He’s also a very good club man as well - a guy that gets stuck in, cares about other people and is a real positive influence around the group. So for me it’s great news that he’s re-signed for the club.”
“He’s improving all the time. His body carries a few scars from his days with Jersey in the Championship, and also with Bristol.
“There’s definitely room for improvement, and the most important thing for us as coaches is he’s very coachable. I’ve just had a conversation with him reflecting on the game and he’s very open and receptive to feedback. And I think if you’ve got individuals like that, then you’ve got a squad that wants to improve and will improve.”
On Dave Cherry's rise to the national team
“I'm really chuffed for him. I was just talking to Simon Hardie – our throwing coach – reflecting on Dave as an individual and how hard he’s work.
"I had a spell at Doncaster and Dave did his time at London Scottish, so he’s definitely done it the hard way, but you look at his performances over the two games he’s had with Scotland, he’s really shown his experience with his set-piece. He’s thrown really well over the course of the two games.
“So, I’m really chuffed for him. He’s done it the hard way so good on him."