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Proud Ritchie urges teammates to rally around Kinghorn

Proud Ritchie urges teammates to rally around Kinghorn

Proud Ritchie urges teammates to rally around Kinghorn

2022 Autumn International, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh 29/10/2022 Scotland vs Australia Scotland's Jamie Ritchie Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie urged his teammates to rally round fly-half Blair Kinghorn after his late penalty miss proved decisive in their Autumn Nations Series defeat to Australia.

Kinghorn had the chance to win the game with almost the last kick but he tugged a difficult penalty wide, as the Wallabies beat Scotland for the first time in six years.

Despite that, Kinghorn was one of the best players on the pitch at a raucous BT Murrayfield, scoring one try and setting up another, and Ritchie insists he is not to blame for the result.

“We had an opportunity to win it at the end, we need to get round Blair as unfortunately he didn’t make the kick,” he said.

“That’s not his fault, we had opportunities earlier in the game to win it. I’m proud of the boy’s effort and we’ll be back next week.”

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Tries from Ollie Smith and Kinghorn either side of half time gave Scotland a 15-6 lead as the hosts impressed in the opening 50 minutes.

However, James Slipper’s score for the visitors, coupled with Bernard Foley’s conversion, saw Australia move within two points with 20 minutes to go.

Foley’s penalty with 10 minutes left handed the Wallabies the lead, and it was enough to seal the narrowest of victories.

“Discipline is something that we speak about,” Ritchie added.

“I think in any game you’ve got to just read it and bounce back from moments you’re not in control, that the referee’s in control of, but we probably do need to be a bit cleaner in our discipline. We’ll be looking at that for next week.”

Despite the defeat, it was still a special day for Ritchie, who captained Scotland for the first time.

He said: “It’s a hugely proud moment for me and my family. It’s hard to put into words. It’s a real privilege and I really don’t take it lightly so I’m excited for taking this forward and I’ll do my best for the thistle.

“I’m proud of the boys, we really fought really hard for that. There were a couple of times where we were under the pump, and we spoke during the week about trying to get those moments back, so I thought we did that well.”

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