Six Nations: Scotland's Stuart Hogg apologises for 'schoolboy' error

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Six Nations: Scotland's Stuart Hogg drops ball on try line against Ireland

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg says he's "gutted" about the mistake that cost his side a try against Ireland and apologised to his team-mates for his "schoolboy error".

Hogg spilled the ball over the try line under no pressure as Scotland lost 19-12 in Dublin.

The visitors had a penalty advantage and kicked three points rather than earning five or seven.

"I can't change what happened. I just need to get on with it," Hogg said.

"I apologised to the boys. We got ourselves into a good position after the forwards' good work and I'm bitterly disappointed I couldn't finish it off," the Exeter full-back added.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said Hogg was "outstanding" during the game and should "flush" the error and move on.

"Stuart was probably excited for scoring the try and it's not like him," Townsend told BBC Radio Scotland.

"We had a number of other occasions close to the try line - whether it was the ball-carrier presenting the ball better, 50-50 decisions from the referee that didn't go our way, or ourselves not getting speed to contact. They were as important as that incident.

"Stuart should flush that and move on because he was outstanding today and has been a very good leader the last two weeks."

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Watch: Scotland 'should have won game' captain Hogg

'There were so many good aspects'

Scotland dominated swathes of a frustrating contest, but were unable to convert a glut of promising field position into a try that might have ended their 10-year wait for a Dublin victory.

Townsend singled out Edinburgh prop Rory Sutherland, who impressed on his first Test appearance since 2016, and debutant number eight Nick Haining, for praise after dynamic shifts.

He also revealed several of the squad had fallen unwell in the lead-up to the match, with prop Simon Berghan a late withdrawal on Saturday.

"For Rory to be out of Test rugby for nearly four years, to not have played many Edinburgh games this year, and play with that technical ability and attitude around the scrum was brilliant to see," he said.

"Nick was actually ill this morning. Simon called off ill. Stuart Hogg was ill two days ago.

"I'm really proud of Nick's performance, to go from probably not thinking he'd be playing Test rugby this year to starting at the Aviva and being one of the best players on the field was really encouraging."

After a poor 2019, culminating in a pool-stage exit at the Rugby World Cup, Scotland's starting XV showed 10 changes from their last outing, a defeat by Japan.

Townsend has also added a new defence coach in Steve Tandy and scrum specialist in Pieter de Villiers, with the set-piece making notable strides under the guidance of the former France prop.

"There were so many good aspects for a new team and coaching staff today that we'll build on," the head coach said.

"There are some really outstanding parts of the game that had Ireland under a lot of pressure. We just have to learn that sometimes you don't get these opportunities away from home against such a good team so you've got to take them."

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