Scotland coach Gregor Townsend revealed full-back “was over the moon” with his beauty of a 40-metre drop goal, which gave his side a 20-0 lead at half-time of today’s 34-0 win over Samoa in Kobe.
The corker of a strike continued the theme of drop goals returning to fashion at this World Cup after seeming to become what was viewed as a “lost art”.
Try-hungry Scotland stand-off Finn Russell has famously never dropped a goal in his professional career and Hogg’s pearler was the first successful attempt at the three-point scoring option since Duncan Weir’s famous last-gasp winning effort in Rome against Italy in the 2014 Six Nations.
It was Hogg's first in Tests, the first drop goal by a Scot at World Cup since Dan Parks against England in Auckland eight years ago and the first by a Scotland full-back since Rowen Shepherd against the All Blacks in Dunedin in 1996.
“Stuart is over the moon with his drop goal. He’s been practising them in training,” said Townsend after the match, which got Scotland back in the Pool A mix.
“He kicked a goal from 60 metres in training yesterday. He’s a real team man. You can see pace and power in his game. He kicks to touch for us, kicks restarts, general kicking and his ability to put others into space is excellent. He’s maturing into all-round player who can help the team to win in different ways.”
Joel Stransky and Jonny Wilkinson famously won World Cups with drop goals in 1995 and 2003, and Dan Carter hit a crucial one in the final four years ago.
This tournament, however, has already seen a healthy number to please the rugby purists, with France stand-off Camille Lopez winning the tight clash against Argentina with one, and efforts by Wales’ Dan Biggar (at 36 seconds the quickest in World Cup history) and then Rhys Patchell contributing to the thrilling win over Australia.
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