Sunday 17 December 2017

Video: Stuart Hogg's sublime flicked assist seals victory for Scotland and title for England

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Scotland ended a decade of failure against France and handed the RBS 6 Nations title to England as they claimed a 29-18 win at Murrayfield.

Les Bleus, who needed victory to keep their championship battle alive, struck early through skipper Guilhem Guirado.

But Stuart Hogg and Duncan Taylor hit back for the Dark Blues and while France managed a second score on the stroke of half-time from Gael Fickou, the Scots wrapped up victory with Tim Visser's try 13 minutes from time.

Hogg's involvement in Visser's try was magical. Watch below:

France took just five minutes to show they are more than just a team of battering rams. A pair of delicious off-loads from Virimi Vakatawa and Wesley Fofana took Dunbar and Stuart Hogg out of the game as the visitors surged down the right flank, leaving skipper Guilhem Guirado to dive over.

Trinh-Duc missed the conversion but there was a further blow for Scotland as their own chief playmaker Finn Russell was left wobbling on his feet after a head knock and had to be replaced by Peter Horne.

The French pressure did not relent but there was a let off as Trinh-Duc missed another simple kick.

Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw - winning his 50th cap - was more precise and trimmed the lead back to two with a penalty.

The hosts had finally caught their breadth and after standing up well to the heavyweight French pack at the scrum, Laidlaw nudged them in front with another kick.

France came back at Cotter's team but Scotland showed bravery and discipline to keep them out.

And with that solid platform, the Dark Blues were able to launch themselves forward. Peter Horne, Richie Gray and Taylor all carried bravely into contact before Laidlaw released Hogg to dance past Fickou for the touchdown.

Laidlaw tugged the conversion wide but the Murrayfield crowd were soon on their feet again as the French were turned over on halfway. Taylor spotted a gap and surged 40 yards down the touchline to score in the corner. Laidlaw this time did the business with the extras.

But France responded with impressive cool, playing patiently as they pulled a try back through Fickou in the corner deep into first-half stoppage time, with Trinh-Duc converting.

Scotland knew they needed to maintain their intensity levels through the second period if they were to stay in front.

Thankfully their scrum was operating as well as it had done all tournament and their efforts set-up Hogg to thump a huge penalty over from inside his own half.

Those gains were wiped out as Maxime Machenaud added a penalty.

But France were repeatedly frustrated by some resolute Scottish defence and were forced to settle for another Machenaud kick.

The match was set up for a tense final quarter of an hour, and Scotland raised themselves to the challenge superbly.

Gray's brave carry took the Dark Blues into scoring range. From the breakdown, Laidlaw span the ball to Hogg. The pass was above his head but the full-back cleverly batted it on to Visser for the winger to dot down in the corner.

Laidlaw's missed conversion meant Scottish nerves continued to jangle.

However, a knock-on from French full-back Scott Spedding took the pressure off, leaving it to Laidlaw to mark his special day with the kick that sealed their long-awaited triumph.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport