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Hogg left frustrated after France defeat

Hogg left frustrated after France defeat

Hogg left frustrated after France defeat

Devastated Scotland captain Stuart Hogg believes his side were more than a match for France in their 22-15 defeat to Les Bleus.

The hosts gave as good as they got in Edinburgh in the first-half, as they headed into the break with the score poised at 12-12 after an opening 40 minutes in which neither side gave an inch.

Virimi Vakatawa scored the only try of the game soon after the break at BT Murrayfield, with the centre crossing after a break from Vincent Rattez to give the visitors an advantage that they never relinquished.

The win leaves France needing victory over Italy in their Round 3 clash next weekend to top Group B, with Scotland already being awarded a 28-0 victory for their cancelled match with Fiji.

Defeat to Fabien Galthie’s side brings an end to Scotland’s five match winning run, but Hogg was left proud of his team’s efforts, as they pushed the visitors all the way to the final whistle.

“I think for 75 minutes we were probably the better team, we felt in control. Five minutes after half time we slip up for thirty seconds and they score a try,” the Scotland skipper said.

“It’s frustrating, we’ve got a lot to learn, we feel in a good place, we didn’t turn rubbish overnight. So, we’ll go back to the drawing board and start again.

“We analysed France all week, we knew our game plan and how we were trying to go into the game. We just talked about patient throughout the 80 minutes and back our systems, back our kicking game.”

The first half was very much a battle of attrition in Edinburgh, with neither side managing to breach their opponents’ try line, as all the points before the break came with the boot.

Duncan Weir slotted through four penalties for the hosts, while Thomas Ramos added three of his own for France, with Matthieu Jalibert kicking a drop goal to make it 12 points apiece going into the break.

But the visitors exerted some authority onto the match minutes after the restart, as Rattez darted through a gap in the Scotland ranks before teeing up Vakatawa to head over, despite Hogg’s desperate attempts to hold him up.

Weir and Ramos exchanged further penalties to leave France ahead by seven points heading into the dying stages, where Scotland were given a penalty as time expired.

But in his eagerness to gain territory the Exeter Chiefs man failed to find touch with his kick, meaning the defeat was sealed, leaving the skipper ruing a missed opportunity to rescue a draw.

“There’s no need for that, just take a line out and try and give ourselves every opportunity, but I’ll take it on the chin. I made a mistake but I’m old enough and ugly enough to realise that,” Hogg said.

“I’m proud of the boys’ efforts, we dug in and stuck in and on another day we would have probably won that.

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