Best bemoans slack start as Hogg hails Scotland win

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Ireland captain Rory Best lamented his side's slow start at Murrayfield after they were beaten 27-22 by Scotland in a thrilling Six Nations opener.

Ahead of the tournament, Ireland had been tipped by many to offer the stiffest challenge to reigning champions England.

However, Joe Schmidt's men fell 21-5 behind inside half an hour on Saturday as Stuart Hogg (2) and Alex Dunbar crossed for Scotland, and a subsequent Irish fightback proved in vain, two late penalties from Greig Laidlaw earning the hosts a first opening-round win since 2006.

"Ultimately the way we started the game cost us," said Best in an on-field interview after the final whistle.

"We knew they [Scotland] are a quality outfit and they started the game how we thought they would, with a lot of emotion and a lot of momentum. We just weren't good enough to stop it.

"We fought back really well to get back into the lead, but ultimately in a game in the Six Nations away from home if you start like that you're always going to be up against it. Unfortunately it proved the case.

"It's frustrating. The second half was a lot more like us, but we're hugely disappointed that when we took the lead we weren't able to close it out."

Scotland hero Hogg understandably found the match far more enjoyable.

Asked if it was the best opener in Six Nations history, the full-back replied: "I believe so. It was a cracking game. We switched off a wee bit at the start of the second half but the boys are absolutely delighted to kick off with a win.

"Credit to Ireland, I thought they were outstanding in that second half. Defensively, we had to be on the money all the time."

On his brace of tries, Hogg modestly added: "I was put in very good positions by our team and it was just a case of finishing off."