Scotland shot themselves in the foot - Stuart Hogg’s damning verdict on South Africa defeat

Stuart Hogg felt Scotland “shot themselves in the foot” as they lost control of the game against South Africa.

Makazole Mapimpi hot-steps it on his way to scoring South Africa's first try against Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Makazole Mapimpi hot-steps it on his way to scoring South Africa's first try against Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The home side’s set-piece failed to function and they were second best at the breakdown as the Springboks won 30-15 at BT Murrayfield.

The penalty count was costly for Scotland, particularly in the second half, as the world champions turned the screw.

Gregor Townsend’s side conceded 15 penalties to South Africa’s nine over the course of the match and the visitors plundered 18 points from this through the kicking of Elton Jantjies (three penalties), Handre Pollard (two) and Frans Steyn (one).

“I‘m bitterly disappointed with the result,” said Hogg. “I think, especially in the first half, we were in control of the game and for the first 20 minutes we defended like our lives depended on it. We kept them out and went down the other end of the field and scored three points. That was huge for us.

“The boys are absolutely devastated with the result. The second half was far from where we need to be and where we want to be and that has cost us.

“You could say the Springboks would have won anyway but I’d probably disagree. We shot ourselves in the foot at times. We didn’t get to vital clear-outs and our set-piece didn’t function. We just didn’t control the game as we’d like to.

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“Yes, we were put under pressure but at times we didn’t help ourselves.”

Scotland led 10-8 at the interval thanks to Hogg’s first try but South Africa moved ahead early in the second half thanks to Makazole Mapimpi’s second try and then built on the lead with a brace of Jantjies penalties.

The Scotland captain brought his side back to within six points with his second score but the Boks stretched away with three more penalties

“The majority [of penalties conceded] were at the breakdown,” Hogg said. “We talk about reloads and being able to carry the ball to score but we didn’t get our clear-outs at times.

“We were punished at the breakdowns, but fair play to the South African jacklers – they had threats across the field and we didn’t deal with them.”

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