Scotland capable of becoming ‘something special’, says Stuart Hogg
Fullback narrowly missed out on snatching famous victory over New Zealand
Scotland’s Stuart Hogg after the final whistle of the game: “We just came up short against the best team in the world for however many years.” Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
The fullback was brilliant throughout as Scotland fell agonisingly short of a first win against the All Blacks, losing 22-17 in an entertaining contest at BT Murrayfield.
A brilliant team try finished off by Beauden Barrett looked to have sealed another win for the tourists, but Huw Jones touched down before Hogg’s brilliant solo effort in the final seconds looked like it might snatch a dramatic, and hardly undeserved, win for Scotland.
As it was, Hogg was brought down by Barrett metres from the try line and knocked on before play was called to an end, and the promise of the performance was not lost on the Glasgow man who believes they are capable of special things.
“If we’re not going into every single game to win, then what’s the point being here?” the man of the match said. “For us that’s long targets, but we take each game as it comes and concentrate on Australia and when the Six Nations comes around, we will concentrate on that.
“I truly believe that we’re in a position to achieve something special. If we’re not here to win, then there’s the door [points towards door].”
Head coach Gregor Townsend has made a clear impact on the squad in the early stages of his tenure and will be looking for a second win over Australia having won there in the summer.
Hogg is quietly confident that they have the makings of a special team.
“The challenge now is to back that up and hopefully come away with the right result next week,” he said. “It’s going to be a huge challenge for us but this is why you play rugby; you want to play against the best.
“We just came up short against the best team in the world for however many years, and next week we play the Aussies and they’re just as good.”
Scotland: Hogg, Seymour, H. Jones, Dunbar, L. Jones, Russell, Price, Marfo, McInally, Fagerson, Toolis, J. Gray, Barclay, Watson, Du Preez. Replacements: Horne for Dunbar (47), McGuigan for L. Jones (69), Bhattie for Marfo (59), Berghan for Fagerson (41), Gilchrist for Toolis (59), Hamilton for Watson (27).
New Zealand: McKenzie, Naholo, Crotty, Williams, R. Ioane, B. Barrett, A. Smith, Hames, Taylor, Laulala, Romano, Whitelock, Fifita, Cane, Read. Replacements: Liernert-Brown for Crotty (59), Perenara for A. Smith (64), Crockett for Hames (52), Tu’ungafasi for Laulala (59), Squire for Romano (47). Not Used: Harris, Todd, Sopoaga. Sin Bin: Cane (61), Crockett (71).