‘Ali Price was absolutely outstanding’ - praise for player who had a hand in four Scotland tries

Stuart Hogg showered praise on Ali Price after the scrum-half stole the show in Rome on his 50th appearance for Scotland.

The Glasgow Warriors half-back turned in a superlative performance in the 33-22 win over Italy, with the home side struggling in vain to contain his attacking surges.

Price was involved in four of Scotland’s five tries as they secured a bonus point victory at the Stadio Olimpico.

The highlight was his interception from close to his own line which set up the move which led to Scotland’s second try - Chris Harris’ first – midway through the first half when the visitors were being put under heavy pressure.

Stuart Hogg, wearing an Italy jersey, congratulates Ali Price on his man of the match performance. Photo by Ryan Byrne/INPHO/Shutterstock

“Ali did that for a reason,” said Hogg. “He shot out the line and made it happen. We talked a lot about our workrate and our hussle to make it incredibly difficult for the Italians.

“Ali’s made the decision to go for it and what a decision it was. That’s what we’re about. The boys work incredibly hard for each other and have licence to make those raids and go for the big plays.

“I thought Ali was absolutely outstanding for the whole time he was on the field. He was a livewire and kept the carrot in front of the donkey in terms of his kicking game. He asked a lot of questions of the Italian defence with his running game as well.

“For him to win his 50th cap, I’m incredibly proud of him and to put in a performance like that was absolutely tremendous.”

Italy had no answer to Ali Price's attacking threat. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

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Scotland didn’t start or finish the game particularly well but will feel satisfied to get a five-point victory following the criticism they received after the losses to Wales and France. They finish their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Dublin next Saturday.

“We wanted to come out here and give a true reflection of ourselves and make sure we gave a professional performance,” added the Scotland captain. “For large parts of that game we did exactly that but unfortunately we had a lapse in concentration every now and then that resulted in Italy scoring points, which we’re quite frustrated about. But on the whole, it was pleasing to come away with a victory.”

Hogg scored the visitors’ final try, his first for his country since breaking the Scotland try record in the win over Japan in the autumn. The full-back has now touched down 26 times in 92 appearances.

“I just wanted to go out there and express myself and do a job for the team,” he added. “A lot’s been said about my individual performance of late but it doesn’t really bother me. I’m just working hard to make sure I contribute towards a team victory.”

It was by no means a perfect performance and the concession of two late tries took some of the gloss off. Hogg acknowledged there was much to analyse and work on ahead of Dublin.

“We talked a lot about doing the simple things well but we were off our feet at the ruck a few times and there were a few jackal turnovers against us,” he said. “These are things we want to tighten up on and be squeaky clean and that would allow us to get more momentum and really get into our multi-phase attack.”

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