Rugby World Cup: Stuart Hogg insists there WILL be a reaction from bruised Scotland
Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg insists there will be a response from the distressing torment of a torrid 27-3 working over by a vastly superior Ireland team in their World Cup opener in Yokohama.
The Scots must stew on their dismal flop for a week now before their second match against Samoa in Kobe next Monday.
“We need to make sure we’re in the right place mentally for next week and we have enough characters in the team to ensure that happens,” said Hogg, who didn’t have anything to celebrate about what was his 70th cap.
“There will be a reaction. We’re downbeat, we’re annoyed and we’re frustrated at how we played.
“But we will get an opportunity next week and we need to put it right. We just have to stop killing ourselves. We are frustrated, but we move.”
Hogg said the performance was even more unacceptable considering the players have spent 100 days together in camp leaving no stone unturned in the build-up.
“It’s hugely disappointing. I’ve not been involved with in a Scotland camp for a long, long time where we’d prepared ourselves so well,” added the 27-year-old.
“We’e absolutely gutted with the way it played out and the way we reacted. You can’t just sit back and admire teams and play the way we did at times.
“As good as Ireland are, we know we are better than that.
“All last week we spoke about not beating ourselves. But the first three Ireland tries all came from our own mistakes.
“The first half especially we just did not contest and we know that’s not good enough.”
Hogg accepted that Scotland had now used up all their room for error in this pool campaign, with a bit to spare.
“There are no grey areas, we’re in must-win territory already,” he said.
“There is so much on the line and we know what we need to do now.
“We know we must win our next three games to ensure that we qualify. That’s not going to be easy but that’s exactly what we must do.
“This game is gone, but we need to make sure that ultimately learn from it and make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes against Samoa next week.”
Hogg tried to provide some spark at times but it can be a lonely and frustrating place as an attacking full-back witnessing the men up front being physically bullied and leaving no offensive platform to work off.
“I was nowhere near good enough by my own standards so I will look at my own performance first,” he said.
“Collectively we will then look at where we went wrong as a team. We’ll all be hoping that we get a chance to put things right next week.
“We will review what went wrong and right now, for us, it’s all about reaction. It’s pointless saying we’re going to do this, that or whatever. We need a reaction and we need it fast.”
The threats of Hogg and stand-off Finn Russell were nullified by a very impressive Ireland.
“They have a world-class defence and a world-class defence coach in Andy Farrell so you know they can always hatch a plan to contain you,” said Hogg. “We thought we could beat it. I had a couple of opportunities and perhaps I should have come harder at the ball on one or two occasions.
“We had chances. We didn’t take them and they did. They shut us down defensively and they won a Test match.
“We try and play the fastest rugby in the world and unfortunately it didn’t come away against Ireland.
“We couldn’t get any go forward ball, Ireland just shut us down. I couldn’t get moving, but we have to come up with ways to beat that.
“It felt like slow ball, it’s not often you are standing still waiting on it.”