Hogg could cause England “huge problems”

Scotland's Stuart Hogg (right) is tackled by Andrew Trimble
Scotland's Stuart Hogg (right) is tackled by Andrew Trimble

Scotland assistant coach Duncan Hodge says the loss to Ireland was “disappointing” but feels the performance of Stuart Hogg, who was the Scot’s standout performer in the 28-6 defeat, was particularly pleasing and hopes the Glasgow Warrior can replicate that form when they face England at Murrayfield today.

The former Edinburgh and Scotland fly-half who helped defeat England in 2000, scoring all of Scotland’s points in the 19-13 win, feels there are positives to take from the Irish result and insisted that Scotland will show more of a “killer instinct” come Saturday afternoon.

“It was disappointing against Ireland as they killed the game in a six minute spell that left it difficult for us to come back from. When we had the ball we couldn’t keep a hold of it and we were not nearly as clinical enough as we wanted to be when Ireland were under pressure. Ultimately, we lacked a killer instinct right when we had Ireland on the back foot and that is something we will be working on.

“It is a difficult six-day turnaround for us to make many meaningful adjustments as we only have two main training sessions plus a game walkthrough but there will be aspects of the game we will be looking to change in those sessions.”

Stuart Hogg’s performance was particularly pleasing for Hodge and hopes the former Hawick fly-half, who has been in terrific form for Glasgow this season, can continue that on Saturday, saying: “ What Stuart offers is a superb set of basic skills – his passing, his kicking, his ball-carrying and gets a lot of opportunities at full-back.

“He was one of the best performers over in Dublin and we are looking for him to carry that form into this weekend. He managed to get a large number of touches which we were hoping for but unfortunately we couldn’t make those touches count. That is not Stuarts fault, rather as a unit we just didn’t get it right when we needed to.

Hodge continued: “He defended the high ball brilliantly and counter attacked enough times that we should have seen some return.

“His talents speak for themselves and if we can get him as many touches against England then we know he will cause them huge problems.”