Hogg hailed as Scots’ top try man

Stuart Hogg evades Keith Earls of Ireland (picture by Neil Hanna)
Stuart Hogg evades Keith Earls of Ireland (picture by Neil Hanna)

The Borders – and Hawick – now boasts Scotland’s all-time top try scorer in Six Nations history, after the country’s fine start to the RB championship on Saturday.

The pair of first-half tries by the town’s own Stuart Hogg set Scotland on their way to a 27-22 over Ireland to give their campaign a victorious start.

It was only the Scots’ second win in an opening Six Nations encounter since 2000.

Much had been made long before a ball was even thrown, or kicked, about the impact Glasgow Warrior Hogg might have on the tournament, given his shining talent and current rich vein of form, as well as notching the player of the contest accolade in 2016.

And the 24-year-old former Mansfield Park player certainaly did not disappoint, being made RB 6 Nations Man of the Match against Ireland.

As it was, Hogg had barely touched the ball before scoring first try in a great attacking first-half performance by Scotland.

After a prolonged spell of attack by Scotland, close to the Irish line, fly-half Finn Russell collected a lengthy feed from captain Greig Laidlaw and hurled a long 35-metre pass which bounced kindly for the full back, but he very deftly spun round to get the space to gallop forward over the line after eight minutes.

The second try started from a lineout with nearly 21 minutes gone, which moved over the left and was beautifully worked into an attack.

Huw Jones passed to Hogg, who surged on and dummied Kearney, with Sean Maitland outside him.

Scotland’s other try came from an impudent little line-out move by ex-Selkirk back Alex Dunbar, while scrum-half Greig Laidlaw kicked all three conversions and, later, two penalties, to drag Scotland clear of an ominous Irish fightback.

Afterwards, Hogg told the BBC: “It was a cracking game – we switched off a wee bit at the start of the second half but the boys are absolutely delighted to kick off the Six Nations with a win, and there is no better place to do it than BT Murrayfield. Credit to Ireland – I thought they were outstanding in that second half and, defensively, we had to be on the money all the time. The boys were just delighted to come away with a win.”

On his own contribution, Hogg said: “For me, I was put in very good positions by our team and it was just a case of finishing off and all down to the boys up front giving us a good platform. We have excelletn backs and I was in the right place at the right time, thankfully.”