Hogg's joy as Scotland see off France
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs star Stuart Hogg says Scotland’s desire to ‘inspire a nation’ helped fuel their Guinness Six Nations victory over France at BT Murrayfield today.
Gregor Townsend’s side battled past a previously undefeated France side 28-17 in Edinburgh, as a Sean Maitland double and Stuart McInally score proved enough to defeat their 14-man opponents.
Fabien Galthié’s team went down to 14 at the end of the first half as Mohamed Haouas was punished for punching Guinness Six Nations Man of the Match Jamie Ritchie, and the hosts took full advantage seal an impressive victory.
And Hogg - who featured alongside club-mate Sam Skinner for the game - believes his players’ wish to make the country proud was central to their performance.
“I was really pleased – we came out here to put on a performance and to inspire a nation, and hopefully we’ve done that,” he said.“Hopefully we made everybody proud – we were in a good place leading up to this, and we’re delighted to come out with the win.
“The only pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves – we challenge each other on a daily basis to get the best out of ourselves and get the best out of everybody, and there’s no better feeling than winning in this jersey.
“I just believed in our boys and backed their ability – our individual talents all look after us and we’ve got a good amount of cohesion within this squad.”
The hosts opened up a 6-0 lead thanks to two Adam Hastings penalties before Damian Penaud hit back with a try for France, but then came Haouas’ dismissal that proved a crucial turning point in the contest.
And winger Maitland capitalised with aplomb, crossing twice either side of half-time to give his team a commanding lead before McInally sealed the victory in the 63rd minute despite Charles Ollivon’s late score.
“We came out here to win and we’re chuffed to bits with that,” added Hogg.“We’ll enjoy tonight and we’ll recover well and then get ready for next week [away to Wales].”