Hogg rues missed opportunity for Scots

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Scotland's Jonny Gray, Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell looked dejected at the final whistle following their Six Nations Championship defeat to Wales. Picture: Getty Images

By Luke Baker

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg says his side will learn the lessons from defeat after citing ill-discipline as the cause of their narrow loss to Wales.

In a Guinness Six Nations thriller at BT Murrayfield, Louis Rees-Zammit’s spectacular individual try helped Wales edge to a 25-24 win that kept their Grand Slam hopes on track.

Scotland led by 14 points at one stage but Zander Fagerson was red-carded for making contact with the head of Wyn Jones at a ruck to leave Scotland down to 14 men for the final 25 minutes, which helped spark a comeback from the visitors.

The hosts conceded 11 penalties in total, including some at crucial junctures, and skipper Hogg believes that gave all-important momentum to their visitors.

“We are bitterly disappointed – for the last part of that match we were in control of it,” he said. “We were the dominant side, especially in the first half but then we started being ill-disciplined.

“Giving away a couple of penalties is fine but four on the bounce is unacceptable. We’ve gone from one end of the field to the other and conceded seven points in a couple of minutes.

“That’s international rugby – you can’t let a team like Wales get cheap field possession because they will punish you.

“It would be wrong of me to single out one man, I’m not about that. For all of us, we talked a lot about discipline going into the game and that is something that has let us down here.

“We’ll learn from it – it hurts now but we’ll learn and we’ll learn quickly.”

Despite their man disadvantage, Scotland still nearly snatched victory as, trailing by a point, they dominated possession in the final five minutes but couldn’t quite convert that into a crucial score.

Having secured their first victory at Twickenham since 1983 in Round 1, there have been plenty of positives for Scotland so far in the 2021 Championship and they will now prepare for a Round 3 clash away to in-form France in the upcoming rest week.

“We were in a good place and felt like we were in control but then a couple of opportunities didn’t go our way,” added Hogg.

“But we stuck at it as things went against us – we took it on the chin and got on with it. It’s a vital lesson for us to stay disciplined throughout.

“It hurts right now and rightly so but we’re excited for a couple of weeks’ time.”

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