Hogg's Scotland looking to rattle France

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Scotland captain Stuart Hogg looks to get round his Exeter Chiefs team-mate Sam Skinner during today's Captain's Run at BT Murrayfield. Picture: Craig Watson

By Mark Stevens

Stuart Hogg is hoping history repeats itself as Scotland prepare to inflict more Murrayfield woe on rivals France in tomorrow’s Autumn Nations Cup clash (3:30pm).

It was back in March that the Scots ended France’s Grand Slam aspirations, defeating them 28-17 in the Guinness Six Nations Championship.

That victory was part of a current five-match winning streak for Gregor Townsend’s side, which also includes Chiefs stars Jonny Gray, Sam Skinner and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

However, France claimed post-game their chances were ended when prop Mohamed Haouas was red carded for punching Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie.

"I've read a fair bit this week where all they're talking about is how the red card changed the game," Hogg said. "Have you ever seen a French team rattled like that before? That happened because we fronted up, got in their faces and then got stuck into them. I don't think they'd ever come across anything like that.

"They're arguably one of the best sides in the world and came to Murrayfield in March three from three and high on confidence, playing some very good rugby. But we shut them down.

"We hustled, we fronted up, and we got ourselves in some good positions in attack. So, on Sunday, we'll be doing the same."

With Fiji's three matches in Scotland's group being cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak in their camp, tomorrow’s match is a straight shootout to reach the Autumn Nations Cup final on December 5.

Victory would also see Scotland win six Test matches in a row for only the third time in their history, and for the first time since 1990.

"We want to keep our momentum going and we want to be in a position to win a Test match so we need to be fully focused on making the first 20 minutes count. If you don't get that right it could be a long old day," said Hogg.

”France is another challenge. The big thing for us is that on a daily basis we're challenging each other and trying to get the best out of each other. We back ourselves, believe in our individual ability, believe in ourselves as a collective so that we can go out there, express ourselves and show what we can do."

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