Skipper Stuart Hogg urges Scotland to put in repeat performance against France

Captain Stuart Hogg has called on Scotland to put in a repeat performance of their Guinness Six Nations victory over France earlier in the year when they welcome Les Bleus to Murrayfield again on Sunday.

The Dark Blues ended France’s Grand Slam hopes with a 28-17 home win in March and remain the only team to have beaten Fabien Galthie’s side since last year’s World Cup.

France had to play most of that game with 14 men after Mohamed Haouas got himself sent off for punching Jamie Ritchie at the end of the first half.

Scotland beat France earlier in the year
Scotland beat France earlier this year (Jane Barlow/PA)

But Hogg believes the impressive way Scotland approached the game has been overlooked because of the red card, and he wants to see more of the same from his team when they meet France in the Autumn Nations Cup this weekend.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the match, Hogg said: “They’re arguably one of the best sides in the world at the minute. They came to BT Murrayfield in March and they had won three from three.

“They were playing high in confidence, they had played some very, very good rugby. Even when they played against us they played some very good rugby.

“But we shut them down, we fronted up, we hustled well in our defence and we got ourselves into some good positions in attack.

“I’ve read a fair bit this week and all they were kind of talking about is the fact that the red card changed the game.

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“Have you ever seen a French team rattled like that before? We fronted up, we got in their faces and got stuck into them and I don’t think they’d ever come across anything like that.

“So tomorrow we need to be doing the exact same.

“We can’t change what’s happened. What’s been written has been written. We believe in ourselves, we believe in our own ability to front up in defence and knock teams backwards.

“We spend a lot of time in the tackle, we spend a lot of time working on our defence because that’s what wins you Test matches.

“And it’s all about having that clinical edge in attack as well.”

David Sole, centre, was the last Scotland captain to lead his side to six straight victories with their Grand Slam-clinching win over England back in 1990
David Sole (centre) was the last Scotland captain to lead his side to six-straight victories with their Grand Slam-clinching win over England back in 1990 (Adam Butler/PA)

Scotland are looking to extend their winning run to six Test matches, and in doing so become just the third Dark Blues team in the nation’s modern rugby history to achieve the feat after the classes of 1925 and 1990.

While Exeter Chiefs star Hogg is keen to keep the streak going, he is not looking beyond the first quarter of Sunday’s game.

He added: “We want to keep our momentum going, we want to be in a position to win a Test match.

“We’re fully focused on the first 20 minutes. If we don’t get the first 20 minutes right it could be a long old day so it’s all we’re concentrating on at the minute.”

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