Sean McMahon reporting from the Aviva Stadium.
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg has apologised to his teammates for a crucial error when he dropped the ball when attempting to ground it for what looked to be a certain try.
Scotland suffered an opening-round Six Nations defeat as they fell on the wrong side of a 19-12 scoreline against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium this evening but they caused Andy Farrell’s side plenty of problems throughout the 80 minutes.
10 minutes into the second half, Scotland were camped just metres from the Irish line and with Ireland down a man as Dave Kilcoyne injured himself in a tackle, there was an opportunity out wide, which Scotland executed to perfection, only for the ball to fall out of Hogg’s grasp as he attempted to ground it one-handed.
It proved to be a crucial moment as Scotland lost out on a seven-point margin and Hogg revealed in his post-match press conference that he apologised to his teammates afterwards for the error.
“Yeah, just a schoolboy error,” Hogg said in the post-match press conference.
“Gutted with how that happened. I can’t change what’s happened now. I just need to get on with it. I apologised to the boys but what will be, will be, I have to move on.”
“As I said, bitterly disappointing to drop the ball over the line but we got ourselves in some good positions there.
“After the forwards’ hard work and effort, I’m bitterly disappointed not to finish it off.”
Although this loss will hurt Scotland, Hogg admits that he’s incredibly proud of his players and how they fronted up throughout the game and came so close to claiming a victory.
“I’m incredibly proud of the boys. We came across here with a huge task on our hands and we fronted up.
“Our defence stood firm, something which we’ve worked incredibly hard on over the last few weeks.
“I’m proud of the boys’ efforts, we’re bitterly disappointed in that changing room not to come away with a positive result.
“We feel we’re in a good place and it’s now about kicking on and learning from today and making sure we’re in a better place come next Saturday.”
Oh, Stuart Hogg. 😳😳😳
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 1, 2020