Hogg eyes Six Nations glory
February 11, 2013
Scotland's Stuart Hogg celebrates Matt Scott's try before touching down himself later © PA Photos
Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg insists their aim is to win the Six Nations following their emphatic victory over Italy.
Scotland were odds-on favourites for a second consecutive wooden spoon before the weekend and 100-1 to win the title after starting poorly with a 38-18 defeat by England. But they kick-started their campaign with a 34-10 victory at Murrayfield against an Italian side who had stunned France the previous weekend.
Hogg was one of four try-scorers and with Scotland second in the table and two points off England, he is setting his sights high.
The Glasgow back, who ran almost the full length of the field to cross following an interception, said: "We are not here to make up the numbers. We are are here to win, to win games and hopefully win a championship. The table looks really tasty now. We are right in the mix and hopefully we can kick on."
Three of Hogg's fellow backs also notched tries - centres Sean Lamont and Matt Scott and wing Tim Visser - but Hogg was quick to praise the forwards for their role in Scotland's turnaround. Interim head coach Scott Johnson had been bitterly disappointed with Scotland's tackling at Twickenham and there was a significant improvement against a powerful Italian pack.
Scotland's 22-metre line was barely breached in the first half as Scotland remained on the front foot and the home defence withstood some sustained spells of pressure after the break until Alessandro Vanni grabbed a late consolation.
"We were a lot of points up on the board but the Italians just kept coming at us and coming at us and coming at us," Hogg said. "All credit to the boys up front and our defence, I thought it was outstanding. We didn't sit off them, they took it to them.
"The previous week we struggled in the tackle area and that knackered up our ball at times but we worked hard on that and that really paid off. We got outstanding ball at times and really knackered up their attack as well at the breakdown."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship