Stuart Hogg: We have lifted the nation, says proud Scotland captain
The stats offered an insight into Scotland’s domination at Twickenham but they didn’t tell the whole story.
The 11-6 win over England involved a huge physical effort and was a source of immense pride to victorious skipper Stuart Hogg.
“It means a huge deal to us all,” said the full-back. “During the week we thought that if we got everything right - both sides of the ball [defence and attack] - it would give us every opportunity to come down here and win. And we’ve done exactly that.
“I thought we had a clinical edge in our attack and we fronted up defensively. Any time England attacked us, we stood firm and we had a lot of dominant collisions.
“I’m incredibly proud of the boys’ efforts and we can now get excited about the next challenge.
“The focus for us was very much on the first 20 minutes of the game and making sure we fronted up physically and I knew if we got that right we would grow in confidence.
“Going in at half-time we were under the pump ever so slightly but we talked about the next quarter of the game being massive for us and we grew and we grew as the game wore on and that was really pleasing to see.
“We’d talked a lot in the last couple of weeks about lifting a nation, and I believe we’ve done that today.”
Scotland had 63 per cent of the possession and 59 per cent territory. They had 128 carries compared to England’s 66 and they made five line breaks while the hosts made none.
The Scots also kept their discipline, giving away just six penalties. England conceded a whopping 15. Scotland also stole a couple of lineouts and won the scrum battle.
In truth, it should have been more than 11-6 such was Scotland’s dominance and they can now look forward to their second Six Nations game next weekend against Wales at home with great confidence.
“We believed as individuals and we believed as a collective that we could come down here and win,” added Hogg who is the first Scotland captain to win at Twickenham since Jim Aitken in 1983.
“It’s definitely up there with my proudest moments in a Scotland jersey. I felt we were in control throughout 60 of the 80 minutes. Even when we came in at half-time with Finn in the sin-bin we were still calm. He still had a huge influence on what we were doing and Gregor spoke really well at half-time and we knew exactly what we were doing going into the second half. And we executed it to the best of our abilities and I’m chuffed to bits with that.
“Look, I’m a proud Scotsman like the rest of the boys that were involved in today’s game. It’s one thing to win a game but another to go and back it up by winning again next week. I think this is only the third or fourth time in 20 years that Scotland have won their opening match in the Six Nations so we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
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