Indiscipline to blame again as Scotland suffer second successive home defeat in rugby’s Six Nations, admits Stuart Hogg

Indiscipline was to blame for Scotland’s second defeat in a row in rugby’s Six Nations, captain Stuart Hogg has admitted.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 8:33 pm
Scotland's Stuart Hogg being tackled by Keith Earls and Garry Ringrose of Ireland at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Scotland lost to Ireland by three points today, March 14, at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium just over a month after being beaten by a single point there by Wales, dispelling any hopes of a triple crown or even grand slam sparked by their opening-day victory against England on Saturday, February 6.

Former Hawick star Hogg pledged that lessons would be learnt from that loss to the Welsh, but indiscipline was again to blame as the Irish, thanks to a late Johnny Sexton penalty, emerged as 27-24 winners today.

The visitors, courtesy of tries by Robbie Henshaw and Tadhg Beirne, had built up a 24-10 lead, but Huw Jones and Hamish Watson spearheaded a second-half fightback to level the score at 24 all with five minutes to go.

Huw Jones scoring Scotland's second try against Ireland at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Gregor Townsend’s team almost immediately gave away their 11th penalty of the game to blow their chances of taking anything out of it, however.

“I think the frustrating thing for us is giving them 24 points in the first place,” said Hogg, 28.

“Credit to Ireland, they took their opportunities, but for the second game in a row we’ve been ill-disciplined and allowed easy field position and kind of killed ourselves at times.

“We gave them good positions and they executed them extremely well, so fair play to them.

Keith Earls competes for the ball with Scotland's Chris Harris and Stuart Hogg ahead of Ireland's first try at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“Johnny Sexton and the rest of the Irish boys were outstanding for 80 minutes there and fully deserved their win.”

Today’s result means Ireland have now won all but two of their last dozen games against Scotland, the Scots’ only recent victories being in February 2017, by 27-22, and February 2013, by 12-8.

Scotland now sit fifth in the Six Nations table, with games against Italy and France to come.

Hogg added: “We scored 24 points by playing the way we want to play.

Stuart Hogg looking dejected following the Guinness Six Nations match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield Stadium on March 14 in Edinburgh (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“We can be told how to play all the time, but what’s working for us at times is throwing the ball around.

“Yes, we could have a little more of a clinical edge at times. You just have to take every opportunity, especially in international rugby.

“I felt at times we were in control of the game and other times we let it slip.

“We talk a lot about living in the moment and staying in the moment, and unfortunately we’ve slipped up at times here.”