Why Stuart Hogg was not penalised for knock-on at Scotland's scrappy first try against Ireland

Finn Russell scored Scotland’s first try, pulling the home side level against Ireland in the first half at BT Murrayfield – but the score was referred to the TMO video judge before being confirmed.

Scotland's Stuart Hogg, right attempts to gather the ball during the Six Nations rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland Sunday, March 14, 2021. (Jane Barlow/Pool Via AP)
Scotland's Stuart Hogg, right attempts to gather the ball during the Six Nations rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland Sunday, March 14, 2021. (Jane Barlow/Pool Via AP)

Scotland skipper Stuart Hogg hacked the ball forward – twice – in the build-up before the play was switched to the former Stirling County player – via the fingertips of one of the Ireland backs.

But match referee checked up on the captain’s play – as a forward move or knock-on would have ruled the try out and left the visitors 8-3 ahead.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It was a messy score – but it counted nonetheless. BBC Sport host Gabby Logan joked it was a move “well structured from training and practised a million times – give us the off the chin move please,” during the half-time analysis.

The build-up had seen the ball strike Hogg on the chin – which doesn’t count as a knock-on via rugby union rules as Jonny Barclay explained: “People might look at it – and it looks wrong for all intents and purposes – but it’s not touched his hand, or his chest - it’s come straight off his chin - and the chin is play on.”

“That’s why it is not a knock on,” added Logan.

Barclay added: “That sums up the game really – just bonkers. A comedy of errors.”

The try and Russell’s conversion added to a first-half penalty to put Scotland 10-8 ahead, though Ireland regained the lead through Johnny Sexton for a half-time scoreline 14-10 in the visitors’ favour.

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today