No Room for Laney; Hadden Is Set to Keep Faith with Hodge for Key Clash

By Robbins, Grant | Daily Mail (London), February 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

No Room for Laney; Hadden Is Set to Keep Faith with Hodge for Key Clash


Robbins, Grant, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: GRANT ROBBINS

SCOTLAND hero Brendan Laney's hopes of taking over Edinburgh's goalkicking duties from Duncan Hodge were kicked into touch yesterday.

Gunners chief Frank Hadden was delighted with Laney's match-winning performance against Italy in Rome - but insisted it was 'highly unlikely' that the Kiwi would leapfrog Hodge for Friday's crucial showdown with Glasgow at Myreside.

In fact, Laney appears to be still an also-ran in Hadden's group of bootboys, which includes Chris Paterson, Gordon Ross and Derrick Lee.

'Having so many frontline kickers at our disposal is a bit of a dilemma,' explained Hadden. 'But as problems go, it is one of the better ones to have most of the time.

'Obviously, Brendan's kicking display at the weekend has given us some food for thought, and because the situation is being talked about far and wide, we will also talk about it.

' But, realistically, Duncan will go in against Glasgow as our main kicker, assuming he gets the selection nod in front of Ross.' As it is, Laney is resigned to handing back the Scotland kicking duties to Paterson against Ireland at Lansdowne Road a week on Saturday.

Laney, who contributed 24 points - including a try, five penalty goals and two conversions to eclipse the 21 scored by Gavin Hastings in 1986 against England at Murrayfield - has settled the debate over his hasty entry into the national squad.

But the New Zealand born Edinburgh full-back doesn't believe his star performance against Italy will get him the nod as firstchoice kicker in Dublin and is adamant that Paterson will again be preferred.

'I think the selectors will stick with Chris. It just so happened he got a bang on the head, otherwise he'd have been doing the kicking,' said Laney, speaking ahead of Edinburgh's Virgin Trains Cup and Welsh/Scottish League double- header with Glasgow at Myreside on Friday night. …

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