Six Nations: Scotland's Stuart Hogg rues dropped ball as hosts left with 'horrible feeling' against France

Stuart Hogg has been Scotland’s hero on so many occasions but the captain was left to rue a dropped ball just before half-time in the home side’s 36-17 defeat by France at Murrayfield.

Trailing 12-10, Hogg had the tryline at his mercy when he fumbled a long pass from Chris Harris.

France seized on the error, forcing the Scots back up the field and scoring a try of their own through Gael Fickou to go in at the interval 19-10 ahead.

Another try, from fellow centre Jonathan Danty, early in the second half put France firmly in the driving seat and there was no way back for Gregor Townsend’s side.

Scotland's Stuart Hogg comes close to a try but cannot grab the Chris Harris pass against France in this Six Nations clash.

“I’m bitterly disappointed with how that ended,” Hogg said of the move which was sparked by a surging break from Duhan van der Merwe.

“I’d have loved to have caught that and scored because I felt at that time the momentum was right behind us. But we’ve then gone penalty, penalty and they scored from easy field position we’ve gifted them.

“We talk a lot about compounding errors and that’s what we did there.”

It was the swing moment although Scotland had conspired to squander another chance just before Hogg dropped the ball. Van der Merwe looked to have a clear run in for a try but the pass he received from Nick Haining went behind him.

Scotland's players look dejected after the defeat by France.

It was a costly couple of minutes admitted Townsend, and was compounded by the manner in which Scotland conceded tries either side of the interval.

“It was disappointing not to have gone ahead when we had a couple of opportunities before half-time,” said the coach. “So it was even more disappointing and frustrating that we conceded from a lineout on the halfway line and conceded seven points.

“We discussed a lot at half-time and that French try came from an attack around the 22 when we had the ball so you can class it as a breakaway try. That must have been a blow for the players on the field.”

A Six Nations Championship that began so promisingly with the win over England is now fizzling out after back-to-back defeats by Wales and France. Scotland will complete their campaign with away fixtures against Italy and Ireland but hopes of a title challenge have been extinguished.

“It is a horrible feeling, I’m not going to lie, because we want to be in a position to give a true reflection of what we’re all about and at times we showed that but not enough,” added Hogg.

“We talked about staying in every single moment of the game, and at times we did that to get in the right areas and look dangerous, but at other times we let it slip a little bit too easily.

“We’ve spoken a lot in the changing room about what is needed going into the last two weeks of the Six Nations, and it is a horrible feeling right now but the worst thing for me is having to wait another two weeks until we play again. I know I speak on behalf of the whole squad when I say we would love to play Italy tomorrow.”

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